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Community Engaged Learning in University STEM Courses

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Introductory Remarks by Joe Shepherd, C. L. "Kelly" Johnson Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering; Allen V. C. Davis and Lenabelle Davis Leadership Chair, Student Affairs; Vice President for Student Affairs


The learning outcomes achieved in typical STEM courses focus on technical knowledge and application.  However, in reality this knowledge in deployed in complex contexts which involve interactions between technology, people and environments.  This complexity enables experiential learning opportunities that compel a deeper understanding of technical knowledge and development of ancillary skills such as communication.  This talk will introduce the theory and some of the literature that supports community engaged learning (CEL) and other types of experiential learning pedagogy.  The principles of course design using a CEL approach will be discussed, and an engineering course that takes this pedagogical approach will be used to illustrate the concepts.


Susan McCahan is currently the Vice Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education and Vice Provost, Academic Programs at the University of Toronto.  She is formerly the Vice Dean, Undergraduate in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. Prof. McCahan is currently working on the experiential learning strategy for the University of Toronto, and has taught a community engaged learning (CEL) design course in Engineering for 15 years. Her research area is the design of learning environments in engineering education. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has been the recipient of several major teaching awards including the 3M National Teaching Fellowship and the Medal of Distinction in Engineering Education from Engineers Canada.

PART OF TeachWeek Caltech, a campus-wide celebration of teaching and learning, featuring events and discussions with Caltech faculty and students, as well as distinguished guest presenters. All events are open to the entire Caltech community.


For more information, please contact Leslie Rico, CAP by phone at 8427 or by email at [email protected].