Professor Brian Robinson Teaching Teamwork and Inclusivity in the Classroom

Headshot of Brian RobinsonWith the conclusion of the Spring 2016 semester, Engineering 110 and 111 has proven a successful synthesis of a variety of educational goals. Existing at the intersection of a number of disciplines, the two course Engineering Fundamentals courses were designed to engender multi-disciplinary teamwork and the real-world application of studies that had previously remained largely theoretical to incoming freshman.

“One of the big driving factors behind that was to make a more common introductory core, so that someone that changes majors doesn’t get set back. It’s to provide exposure to incoming students to set them up to improve their odds of a professional and academic career. To expose them to feedback. To help them realize products, to realize all the products that UofL has to offer. Those are all how it started. We expose them to stuff that they weren’t getting exposed to. We introduced them to technical writing,” says Professor Brian Robinson, the course instructor for both EF 110 and 111.

The concept was initiated by then Dean Neville Pinto, to provide students a hands-on experience that can prepare them for the more advanced coursework that comes thereafter.

According to Robinson, it was an incredible success. “This first run, for our first time around, it was a grand slam. We need to teach programming better in 110. Student feedback is always crucial. We want to make an effort to Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering students, they felt neglected, so to make more of an effort there,” he says while assessing possible changes for future implementation.

He adds of his own experience in the classroom, “You’re going to be hard pressed to find a class that I don’t like teaching. That’s my favorite part is teaching the students that what I love.”