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Guide to Effective Engineering Curriculum

Set yourself apart as an instructor.  Follow these steps. Use the array of tools at your disposal.  Students with different learning styles stand a better chance of success.  Cultivate an environment for research and pushing boundaries.

Prepare for Your Students:  Consider different learning styles.  Examine the four learning styles of VARK:

  • Visual:  Graphs, Diagrams, Screenshots of Code, Video Tutorials
  • Auditory:  Live/Pre-Recorded Talks
  • Read & Write:  Documentations, Whitepapers, Gists
  • Kinesthetic:  Whiteboarding, Presentation, Pair Programming

Also consider your students’ career goals:

  • Freelance
  • Staff
  • Hobby
  • Entrepreneur
  • Area of Expertise (AI, Blockchain, Front-End, Back-End etc.)

Know Yourself:   Create documentation, if you prefer not to speak live.  Instruct via discussion, if you prefer human interaction.  Keep learners engaged.

Accessible Mediums:  Use your preferred tools for class.  Make sure the students have access to them.  Inform the class of the tools necessary for each course before starting.  More on tools, later.

Blends Mediums/Learning Styles:  Support your learners when teaching and learning styles do not mesh.  Build a flexible VARK curriculum. One-hour session example:

  • 20-minute talk with PowerPoint (auditory and visual)
  • 10-minute reading and note-taking (read and write)
  • 30-minute whiteboarding or coding solo or in groups (kinesthetic)

Core Concepts:  Define the core concepts for the course.  Make sure the material is not only abstract, but applicable.  This boosts morale by defining a clear purpose. Develop desired outcomes for the course and organize them into stages, one stage building to the next.  They provide a clear and concise goal to show a grasping of knowledge:

  • Coding Challenges (Algorithms)
  • Well-Organized Visual Diagram
  • App Components/Features
  • In-Depth Test Writing (Passes and Fails)

Define Measurements:  To measure the success of a curriculum, instructors need to establish Point A and Point B.  Point A will be the floor or starting block, while Point B will be the ceiling or finish line.  There are two ways to measure the efficacy of a course:

  • Qualitative:  Observation and interviews.
  • Quantitative:  Numbers and statistics.

Content/Course Materials:

  • Tools Overview (CPU, Terminal, Editor)
  • Packages
  • Coding Languages
  • Full-Stack/Product Scope
  • Strategies/Approaches

Teaching Tools:  Produce course materials with the following tools:  

  • Microsoft Office (Word, PPT, OneNote)
  • Google Drive
  • Git/Gist
  • Audio/Video Recording
  • Photo Editor

Practice & Prepare:  Practice all that apply:

  • Edit/Proofread Copy
  • Edit Other Materials
  • Test Code
  • Peer Reviews

Evolve as an instructor.  Gauge success by analyzing data while conducting surveys with an open mindset.  Make the adjustments. It assists with mastering instruction and engineering.

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