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Teaching Academy Workshop
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Training Future Instructors to Address the Challenges of the Modern Classroom

On January 25, the University of Miami College of Engineering (UMCoE) taught a “Demonstrating Teaching Skills that Engage Students” session at the pilot inaugural Graduate School Teaching Academy. The interactive, hands-on training introduced PhD students and postdoctoral fellows to teaching strategies and ways to engage students in the classroom through dynamic discussions.

Renee Evans, senior instructional designer with the College of Engineering, and Derin Ural, UMCoE associate dean for student affairs and professor in practice in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, developed and moderated the session.

“My goal is for the attendees to become experts so they are able to comfortably orchestrate active learning activities to engage students and enhance their academic experience,” Evans says. “We’re committed to promoting and maintaining a standard of teaching excellence amongst graduate students in order to create and maintain the lifelong learning of our community.”

Prior to the session, students visited Ural’s active learning engineering classroom to observe the structure of the pedagogy, student engagement and interactions, delivery of the content and expectations.

“By flipping the way students are taught, we have found their academic progress has greatly improved,” Ural explained. “Our students want to push their academic boundaries and challenge their ideas through peer exchange. This transformative approach is changing the future of education and the way our faculty present the information.”

“During the sessions, we explored exciting, innovative approaches to enhance student learning,” explains Alvaro Ruiz-Emparanza, a PhD candidate in UMCoE Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. “Overall, the program improves our teaching effectiveness, as well as our professional development through hands-on activities alongside faculty and renowned instructors.”

Applications to attend the Graduate School Teaching Academy open up in the fall. Stay tuned for more information.

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