An active class room teaching practice can become highly rewarding for students. An instructor practicing active learning approaches may get significantly higher success in inculcating course materials deeply as compared to a lecture based teaching. However, transitioning from prevailing lecture based instruction to an active learning approach can be hampered by the reservations and prejudices of an engineering educator; a tenure track faculty may find it even more challenging to leave the traditional lecture based teaching approach and adopt an active teaching approach. This paper will describe the active teaching techniques that I, a tenure track faculty, has been practicing to teach mechanical engineering courses; the main discussion will focus on the Fuel Cell Science and Technology course. I have devised my current deep learning and teaching strategies through a yearlong Myrtilla Miner Faculty Fellowship cohort under Dr. Ken Bain and a number of workshops on the group based active teaching and peer interaction based teaching. This paper describes the strategies for developing a teaching and assessment plan for the courses I teach by emphasizing on (i) designing significant learning outcomes before starting a class, (ii) the long term retention of key concepts of a course by fostering student centered deep learning course activities, and (iii) far transfer of the skills students gain from a course. The first topic of this paper is about various strategies to understand students’ motivations and inhibitions that may govern their learning curve in a course. The second topic of this paper discusses the crucial aspect of designing a promising syllabus to give students a bigger purpose for learning the course material; a promising syllabus attempt to connect students’ long held curiosities and career ambitions with the course to be offered. The third topic delves into the strategies to engage students in self-preparation to assimilate the key concepts to be discussed in a class. This paper will also highlight the approach to design conceptual quizzes to guide student preparation before they come to the class and then use the same conceptual quizzes to conduct peer discussion and define the flow of a class; this strategy is derived from Dr. Eric Mazur’s work on peer interaction based teaching. The fourth topic is about the utility of one pager feedback form to be filled by the students after every class. This paper will discuss structure and effectiveness of the feedback form in improving student attention and participation in the class discussions. I have offered two workshops on effective teaching at the University of the District of Columbia to promote active student learning in a wide range of courses. I plan to conduct workshops for the middle and high school teachers to share the effective teaching skills.

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