Pedagogy Syllabus Y3

IGERT MNM (Magnetic and Nanostructured Materials )

A collaboration between Norfolk State University, Cornell University, Purdue University

Best Practices in Teaching and Learning

Group: Tasha Zephirin, Sha’la Fletcher, Tanya David, Casey Gonder

Advising Professor: Dr. Monica Cox



The main objective of this module is to help the IGERT trainees and associate trainees develop pedagogical expertise so they can integrate pedagogy within their disciplinary areas. As a Trainee, you will:

  • Develop pedagogical expertise through an introduction to theoretically-based teaching methods and strategies that can be incorporated into your future teaching or collaborative opportunities and communication strategies.
  • Identify ways that your personal research can be communicated other educational contexts
  • Explore the impacts of teaching and curricular innovations on “student” (i.e. K-12, collegiate, working professional, research group member, etc.) learning.



Upon completion of this module, trainees will be able to:

Knowledge & Transfer

  • Describe differences between expert and novice learners
  • Identify factors that influence knowledge transfer
  • Describe how knowledge on how the mind and brain works can be leveraged in educational contexts

How People Learn (HPL) Framework

  • Explain the four dimensions of the “How People Learn” (HPL) framework.
  • Operationalize HPL elements in STEM learning environments.
  • Identify challenges implementing HPL elements in STEM learning environments.


  • Describe the importance of assessment in engineering education
  • Differentiate between types of assessment (e.g. formative and summative)
  • Write learning objectives & link learning objectives to appropriate assessments

Backwards Design

  • Explain the Backward Design process
  • Apply Backward Design as a framework for designing a learning experience
  • Link appropriate assessments to curricular priorities in the Backward Design framework

Engagement Strategies

  • Identify strategies to engage learners
  • Describe ….[BT1]


  • Translate knowledge, skills & insights from technical research to formal and informal learning environments
  • Tailor communication of technical content to selected audiences
  • Explore the use of video in communicating an idea


By the end of the 8 weeks trainees will have developed a final deliverable. The deliverable should reflect the pedagogical content knowledge and curricular knowledge trainees have gained from the previous weeks of the module. The final goal is to design a 3 minute video which will communicate your research or an aspect of your research proposal to a general audience.



Each week, trainees will be expected to complete a weekly homework assignment and a short reflection on the current week’s readings.

(1)  Weekly reflections based on the readings will be emailed/posted to the googlegroup by noon the day before the next meeting. There are no specific requirements for the length or content of the reflection.

-       A prompt/question will be provided on the message board. Please post your reflection within that week’s particular thread

-        Respond to at least 2 other Trainees reflection e.g. comment on the thought, suggest additional question/points to consider etc.

(2)  Weekly homework assignments are described in the table below. To assist with the development of the video, assignments will be versions of a storyboard draft in powerpoint, with additional information being added or revised weekly.

For access to the googlegroup, go to the following link and request to be added to the group: Addition to the group requires instructor approval.


Feedback on homework assignments will be given within one week of homework submission according to the evaluation rubric (separate document).


Wk #


Homework Activity

(due following week)



Readings (Returning)



/Learning objectives

/Overview of backward design & assessment


Video Overview:

Introduction thoughts for proposed video: Identify content (main topic), learning objectives, context (human, organizational, environmental factors) and anticipated setting (physical or virtual environment)







Video Overview:

Identify strategies you will use to ensure effective communication of your topic.


Video Storyboard:

Add initial brainstorms of what can be included in the video. Focus on general ideas/flow.

The Science Gap (8 min video):

1)    How does info get to the public?

2)    How do we influence public perceptions of research(ers)?


Gilbert, R., Balatti, J., Turner, P., & Whitehouse, H. (2004). The generic skills debate in research higher degrees. Higher Education Research & Development, 23(3), 375–388. doi:10.1080/0729436042000235454



Dance your Ph.D. (click on a video that peaks your interest)


I-RITE/I-SPEAK is a Stanford program that teaches graduate students and postdocs to prepare and deliver highly understandable, compelling oral and written accounts of their research for non-specialized audiences.




Learners & Learning

(How People Learn Intro)


Video Overview:

Outline audience/participants including who the program targets, expected demographics (if possible), expected prior knowledge and/or skills. Video Storyboard:

Further brainstorms of what can be included in the video. Focus on general ideas/flow.



Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (Eds.). (2000). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. National Academy Press. Chapters 2, 3, 5



Krause, S. J. (2012). Development of a crystal spatial visualization survey for introductory materials classes. Proceedings of the 2012 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition. San Antonio, TX.



Assessment / Backwards Design[BT2]


Video “How-to” discussion

Video Overview:

For each learning goal, identify its curricular priority, task, and how you will know the goal was achieved. Ensure that goal, task, and acceptable evidence are aligned.


Video Storyboard:

Further brainstorms of what can be included in the video. Focus on general images, pictures, how the ideas will be presented


Wiggins, G., & McTighe. (1998). Understanding by Design. Upper Saddle, NJ: Prentice Hall. Chapter 1


New Revision: Online book: Understanding By Design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005)





Identify and share video making tools, how to guides, ideas for video designs etc.


How People Learn framework – Design of Learning Environments

Video Overview:

Describe how aspects of your video will align with the HPL framework.


Video Storyboard:

Draft video outline aligning your ideas and flow with general images, pictures. Include “script” in the notes section of the powerpoint



Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (Eds.). (2000). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. National Academy Press. Chapters 1, 6




HPL application TBD


Engagement Strategies

Video Storyboard:

Final video outline aligning your ideas and flow with general images, pictures. Include “script” in the notes section of the powerpoint







Reading TBD


Curriculum Development overview/ Group feedback


Finalize video and be prepared to use one assessment strategy with the IGERT-MNM audience



Final Presentation


Video presentation with IGERT audience incorporating one of your assessment strategies (5 mins per trainee)




At the beginning of each workshop there will be:

-       General homework review

-       Short, open discussion on challenges faced completing current assignment & questions regarding previous week’s material

-       Peer feedback on homework assignment


Supplemental Resources and Materials:

The following articles are not required readings but are related in different ways to certain weekly topics and may be of interest.

Week 3

Borrego, M. (2007). Conceptual difficulties experienced by trained engineers learning educational research methods. Journal of Engineering Education, 79(6), 735. doi:10.1021/ed079p735

Chi, M. (2005). Commonsense conceptions of emergent processes: Why some misconceptions are robust. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 14(2), 161-199. doi:10.1207/s15327809jls1402

Felder, R. (1988). Learning and teaching styles in engineering education. Engineering Education, 78(June), 674-681.

Felder, R. (2005). Understanding student differences. Journal of Engineering Education, 94(1), 57-72.

Perkins, D. (2009). Making Learning Whole: How Seven Principles of Teaching can Transform Education. Jossey-Bass.

Streveler, R. A., Litzinger, T. A., Miller, R. L., & Steif, P. S. (2008). Learning conceptual knowledge in the engineering sciences: Overview and future research directions. Journal of Engineering Education, 97(3), 279–294.

Week 6

Klein, S.S., and A.H. Harris. (2007). A user’s guide for the Legacy Cycle.

Journal of Education and Human Development 1 (1): 1–16

Challenge-Based Instruction - The VaNTH Biomechanics Learning Modules

Stump, G. S., Hilpert, J. C., Husman, J., Chung, W.-T., & Kim, W. (2011). Collaborative Learning in Engineering Students: Gender and Achievement. Journal of Engineering Education, 100(3), 475–497. Retrieved from

Articles related to IGERT context

Golde, C. M. (1999). The Challenges of Conducting Interdisciplinary Research in Traditional Doctoral Programs. Ecosystems, 2(4), 281-285. doi:10.1007/s100219900076

Stephens, R., & Richey, M. (2011). Accelerating STEM Capacity : A Complex Adaptive System Perspective. Journal of Engineering Education, 100(3), 417-423.

Newstetter, W. C. (2011). UNPACKING THE INTERDISCIPLINARY MIND : Implications for teaching and learning. American Society for Engineering Education (pp. AC 2011-2614).

[BT1]Help with learning objectives?

E.g. pose a question early on

[BT2]Do we need more detail beyond the general idea presented in Week 1? If not, what additional topic or work session would be useful?

[t3]General guidelines will be developed to guide feedback each week

Previous page: Pedagogy Syllabus Y2
Next page: Pedagogy Syllabus Y4

South Africa on innovative technologies Nano-INNOV Nederland