Teaching

Last spring, UIUC announced that we were moving from Compass2g (Blackboard) to Canvas this academic year.  So, I've been exploring Canvas over the summer and decided to jump in and move my course to Canvas this fall.  My plan is to share tips about developing courses in Canvas along the way.

Since I have to manually move my content, my goals for this semester are to have a paperless lab and the content is also accessible for all students in my lab.  For the latter, I am going to draw from the UDL guidelines and the IT Accessibility 101 course provided by the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services at Illinois. 

My first course in Canvas will be BIOE415: Biomedical Instrumentation Lab.  I'm organizing each lab into a module with background information and the experiment instructions.  Therefore a lot of my content is getting transferred to pages that are just webpages and you can edit the HTML if you know what you are doing.

My first tip is about how to add figure captions to images on pages in Canvas.  It is easy if you know HTML, but not if you are trying to search for how to do it on Canvas pages.

Read more: Canvas Tip - Figure Tags

As a follow up to my earlier blog post about creating videos quickly, I thought I would share a few examples of the final product.  When I started creating videos for an entire term online, I decided to add a bit more personalization.  All of the videos started with me on the screen introducing the content before jumping into the annotated PowerPoint content.  I created an animated logo in Adobe After Effects to add some flair and personalization.  Finally, I put some bed music and end credits to make it seem a bit more like what they were used to from other YouTubers.

Read more: Example Flipped Lecture Videos

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many faculty have been asked to move their courses online with very short notice.  Last year during the polar vortex I experimented with making lecture videos with PowerPoint.  I have now updated the process again for the videos I am creating this year.  The process is efficient and I think it meets ADA requirements for captions.  The videos are not perfect but they convey the material clearly and are pretty good given the circumstances.

Read more: Creating Video Lectures Quickly

At WE19 I collaborated with Yanfen Li and Nicole Jackson to facilitate a flipped session on applying for academic jobs.  The slides and additional details from the session are provided here for reference during and after the session.

Read more: Strategies for Applying for a Job in Academia

At the 2019 American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference, I published a tips and tricks paper about technologies that were available for providing feedback and grades to students.  The full paper can be accessed from the ASEE website.

Read more: A Systematic Review of Technologies for Providing Feedback and Grades to Students

In 2018, I was asked to share an innovative assignment as part of Kettering University's Principles of Effective Teaching (PoET) lecture series.  In this talk, I describe an assignment where I have students share a real-life application of something they learned in the course with their peers.

Read more: Applications Monday: Students bring real-life control system experiences into the classroom

At the 2018 IEEE Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, I published an innovative practice about adding Cody Coursework (now MATLAB Grader) to my control systems course.  The full paper can be accessed on IEEE Xplore.

Read more: Student and faculty reflections after using MathWorks' Cody Coursework in a control systems course

At the 2017 Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, I published a paper about teaching assistants (TAs). The observations about the influence of TAs in the laboratory emerged from the laboratory equipment study that I conducted during my dissertation. Based on student comments during the original study, the TAs had an impact on the learning environment in the laboratory.   The full paper can be accessed in the IEEE Xplore Digital Library.

Read more: The influence of teaching assistants in an undergraduate engineering laboratory course

At WE14, Diane Peters and I shared tips for teaching STEM in a workshop on Saturday afternoon.

Read more: Tips for Teaching STEM

This year I completed my first teaching certificate through the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at the University of Illinois.  Throughout the year, I attended seminars, collected feedback from my students, and had someone observe my teaching.  I wrote reflective essays on the entire process as well.  I learned a lot while completing the requirements of this certificate.  Many of the lessons I was able to apply right away as a teaching assistant, however other lessons I have made note of for future classes that I teach.

List of all recipients

Read more: Completion of graduate teaching certificate

MATLAB Code for Lab Kit

The MATLAB and Simulink files for my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.

3D Models for Lab Kit

The instructions for experiments using my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.

Experiments for Lab Kit

The instructions for experiments using my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.