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Richard M. Felder

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College teaching may be the only skilled profession for which no preparation or training is provided or required. You get a Ph.D., join a faculty, they show you your office, and then tell you "By the way, you're teaching 205 next semester. See you later." The result is the consistent use of teaching techniques that have repeatedly been shown to be ineffective at promoting learning. Many professors are surprised to learn that...
  • There are well-defined instructional techniques that make teaching more effective.
  • These techniques can be introduced slowly and methodically, without compromising coverage of the syllabus. They do not require large expenditures of money, time, and effort.
  • Most importantly, the techniques have been validated by careful, documented, repeatable research. Their effectiveness is not simply a matter of opinion. They work!
This Web site offers guidance on what those techniques are and tips and resources for using them. If you have a specific aspect of teaching in mind, click on the link to "Education-related papers" on the left and then click on your topic if it is listed. Otherwise, just enjoy browsing.

Dr. Richard M. Felder is the Hoechst Celanese Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University. He is coauthor of Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes, an introductory chemical engineering text now in its third edition. He has contributed over 200 publications to the fields of science and engineering education and chemical process engineering, and writes "Random Thoughts," a column on educational methods and issues for the quarterly journal Chemical Engineering Education. With his wife and colleague, Dr. Rebecca Brent, he codirects the National Effective Teaching Institute (NETI) and regularly offers teaching effectiveness workshops on campuses and at conferences around the world. He has seven spectacular grandchildren.

What's new? As of July 1, 2015

Creating Partnerships: Active Learning in an Engineering Class. A 32-minute video on YouTube containing clips of Dr. Felder using active learning in a large class, with narration by Dr. Felder and Dr. Rebecca Brent and post-course comments from several of the students about the impact of the teaching method on their learning.

Mathematical methods in engineering and physics.
Nepotism alert: I did not write this book--it was written by Gary and Kenny Felder, my sons. Even if it had been written by complete strangers, though, I would tell you that it's the best applied math book I've ever seen--a model of clarity, numerous and varied examples of every concept and method discussed, tons of problems, and now and then--when you're least expecting it--funny. It's also written in a modular fashion, so if you want to learn about or review, say, partial differential equations or Fourier analysis, you can just jump to that chapter without first reading all the chapters that precede it. If you teach applied math and/or your research involves mathematical analysis, I strongly recommend checking it out. (RF)

"Try this on for size." Chem. Engr. Education, 49(2), 127-128 (Spring 2015). Several easy but effective teaching strategies.

"The Murky Crystal Ball." Chem. Engr. Education, 48(4), 207-208 (Fall 2014). Predictions about engineering education in 10 years. (Spoiler alert: MOOCs will still be here.)

Comments or questions? Send mail to Dr. Felder at