The current state of teaching
In this chapter I attempt to summarize what seems to be the normal student experience in the vast majority of the universities which are currently teaching engineering in 2010. In order to do this I have to generalise rather too much, but my conclusions are based on a number of pieces of evidence in the UK, Australia and the USA.
What you might take away from this chapter:
- The realisation that most of the teaching in most institutions has changed little over the last four or five decades, apart from the relatively trivial introduction of on-line resources;
- The understanding that there are many alternatives to lecturing, most of which are being used by a minority of teachers spread across a wide range of universities. Many of these are more effective in flexible spaces which are unlike traditional lecture theatres;
- The recognition that, in a very small number of institutions, radical change has been tried but that engineering has not adopted Problem Based Learning as enthusiastically as has medical education.