Richard Felder's Home Page
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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...
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.
- 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!
Dr. Richard M. Felder is the Hoechst Celanese Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University. He is coauthor of Teaching and Learning STEM: A Practical Guide (Jossey-Bass, 2016), and Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes (4th edition, Wiley, 2015). He has contributed over 300 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 regularly offers teaching effectiveness workshops on campuses and at conferences around the world. He has seven spectacular grandkids and an equally spectacular great niece.
What's new? As of November 22, 2016
Comments or questions? Send mail to Dr. Felder at email@example.com
- "New Faculty Members May Not Know How to Teach, but At Least They Know How to Do Research...Right?" Chem. Engr. Education, 50(4), 251-252 (Fall 2016). The answer is, don't count on it.
- "Active Learning: An Introduction." A short tutorial that defines active learning, gives examples of activities and formats, and answers frequently-asked questions about the method. You can also take a multiple-choice quiz on the contents of the tutorial that provides feedback on incorrect responses.
- "Introduction to Learning Objectives." A short tutorial that defines learning objectives, gives reasons for writing them and different ways to use them, outlines different levels of complexity of objectives using Bloom's Taxonomy, and gives directions for writing effective objectives at different levels. You can also take a multiple-choice quiz on the tutorial contents that provides feedback on incorrect responses.
- "Why Students Fail Tests: 1. Ineffective Studying". Chem. Engr. Education, 50(2), 151-152 (Spring 2016). A cognitive science-based take on ineffective and effective study strategies.
- "Why Students Fail Tests: 2. Ineffective Teaching". Chem. Engr. Education, 50(3), 211-212 (Summer 2016). A cognitive science-based take on teaching practices that have negative effects on students' learning, and suggestions of better alternatives to those practices.