Dean's Engineering Education Fellow Alumnus
Rui Li was a Dean’s Engineering Education Fellow during Spring and Summer 2020. He taught two sections of ECE 2170 (Engineering Circuits), during which he collected data from students around the effects of a transition to online labs on the effectiveness of collaborative learning. This data collection led to two journal publications – one in-press and one under review.
Hear what Rui had to say about the Dean’s Engineering Education Fellowship:
“Through this fellowship, I have the great opportunity to be both an instructor and an educational researcher. Being an instructor allows me to practice my teaching skills in a real classroom setting. Being an education researcher enables me to train myself in the field of engineering education and continuously improve my teaching ability.
Unique teaching experience
“I taught a class of 38 students in the course named circuit analysis. I had two lectures and two labs every week. I am responsible for teaching lectures and labs, designing exam or quiz questions, proctoring exams, and assigning final grades to students. I played the role of an independent instructor since day one.
In-depth research experience
“My major is mechatronic engineering and has little experience in engineering education. Dr. Morelock gave me step-by-step guidance to find a suitable research topic to start with. I quickly realized my research interest lies in investigating the shifting of students’ motivation between physical and online labs.
“I had a weekly personal meeting with Dr. Morelock to summarize the past-week progress, plan for next week’s teaching and research activities. During the pandemic, thanks to EETI’s detailed guidelines, I could quickly transfer to online instruction. My students successfully completed the course and received decent grades.
“I had a chance to participate in faculty meetings to understand more about the teaching activities in the college. This gave me a big picture of teaching management at the college level. I also learned a lot by interacting with experienced members of the college, such as Dr. Walther and Dr. Sochacka.
“I was suggested to read a very useful book: how learning works by Ambrose et al. I learned many fundamental teaching skills by reading this book.
I would highly recommend this experience to everyone who has a strong will to be a teaching faculty. Different from a routine job of teaching assistant, this new immersive experience will be very beneficial to personal and career development.”