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In this research effort, the authors claim that possessing technical knowledge is not a sufficient asset to establish a learning environment that renders engagement with engineering students during lecture sessions, but rather the integration of various communication strategies that support students’ academic development. Research has noted that classroom context and conditions impact the degree of student learning and engagement and are further enhanced when students feel comfortable communicating with the instructor and with their peers. If such acquaintance is nonexistent, student participation may be stifled and limited despite the technical concerns arising during lecture sessions. Thus, it is imperative for faculty members to consciously and intentionally foster communication before, during, and after lecture sessions, and become sensitive to such academic needs that will enable students to participate with solvency. In this context, four strategies have been identified that eliminate intimidation scenarios and nurture a learning environment to be generated consistently: verbally encourage student participation, learn student names and inquire from them during lecture, have communication with student before and after class, pose non-intuitive question that spark curiosity. Results indicate that utilizing these strategies minimizes traditional classroom power relations, strengthens student-instructor communication, increases student collaboration, and fosters an active learning environment that enhances student engagement and learning.


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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition





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