Industrial Instrumentation Summary for Teachers

Chapter 38 - Educational Concepts and Models for the Field of Instrumentation - Advice for Teachers

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To summarize some of the key points and concepts for teaching:

  • Do not waste class time transmitting facts to students – let the students research facts outside of class
  • Use class time to develop high-level thinking skills (e.g. problem-solving, diagnostic techniques, metacognition)
  • Use Socratic dialogue to challenge each and every student on the subject matter
  • Focus on general principles, not specific procedures
  • Make labwork as realistic as possible
  • Build diagnostic skill by first exercising deductive reasoning, as a prelude to inductive reasoning
  • Incorporate frequent troubleshooting exercises in the lab, with students diagnosing realistic faults in instrument systems
  • Include a broad range of practical topics and aspects in all coursework rather than fall into the convention of focusing on memorizing definitions, stating concepts, and performing quantitative calculations
  • Assess student learning validly and rigorously
  • Review important knowledge and skill areas continually until graduation – build this review into the program courses themselves (homework, quizzes, exams) rather than relying on ad hoc review

One final piece of advice for educators at every level: it is better to teach a few things well than to teach many things poorly! If external constraints force you to “cover” too much material in too little time, focus on making each learning exercise as integrative as possible, so students will experience different topics in ways that reinforce and give context to each other.