Cindy Finelli was among 48 faculty members across the country invited to attend the 2016 National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium. This symposium is an opportunity for engineering educators to exchange ideas and discuss innovative classroom techniques. They leave the symposium with a charter to bring about improvement at their home institution. Attendees were nominated by NAE members and engineering deans and chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants. She is one of two attendees from Michigan.
Prof. Finelli will present her project about “A more student-centered electrical engineering classroom through pre-class reading and in-class problem solving,” which integrates some elements of a “flipped” classroom. She intends to use this technique to introduce students to course contents outside of class rather than in a lecture, opening up class time to introduce more active learning and problem solving.
“There is ample evidence about the positive benefits of active learning,” Cindy says, “but lecture continues to be the prevailing pedagogy in most undergraduate engineering courses.”
In addition to her position in the department, Prof. Finelli is currently Director of Engineering Education Research in the College of Engineering, and she was founding director at the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching in Engineering at Michigan, which supports college-wide initiatives in engineering teaching and learning. Her own research focuses on how faculty make decisions about what they’re doing in the classroom, how students understand engineering concepts, and how a flexible classroom influences both teaching and learning.
She is U-M’s only active Fellow of the American Society of Engineering Education, and one of only three in its history.
The symposium will be held in Irvine, California from September 25–28, 2016.