A college professor has developed a new way of teaching technical drafting, which he claims will make it easier for students to learn the fundamentals of science.
The instructor, John H. Smead, a professor of computer science at San Diego State University, developed a digital version of a computer science textbook called the Science and Technology (ST) Book that he says can teach students a basic understanding of the world’s basic science concepts in a way that would otherwise be difficult.
According to Smeath, a major reason why students learn so much about science through reading and writing is because they can see how a given experiment or process can lead to a result.
In other words, the more they see the results of the experiment, the better they understand what the experiment was trying to achieve.
“The more you can see the process that’s leading to the result, the easier it will be to understand,” Smeat said.
He also said the book’s content and presentation make it easy for students, especially those who are new to the field, to see the data and the data points that support their understanding of what they are reading.
Smeath’s method has proven to be highly popular, with a survey by the University of Washington’s Department of Computer Science showing that nearly half of the students who took part in the survey completed the course.
The course is now available for students at the college.
“This is one of the best resources I’ve seen that really teaches how to think about science,” Simead said.
“If I can get my students to understand how to do it in the same way that I teach them how to write and draw, then they’re going to learn a lot about the sciences.”
Simead is not the only one who believes that students need a little more help in learning how to learn science.
In his book, the professor and coauthor of the textbook, Robert L. Anderson, wrote: “I want my students (and their parents) to understand that science is not just a skill that one learns through books or tests or a classroom discussion.
Science is more like a tool that you need to be proficient with to accomplish a goal.”
The students at Smeas’ college who took the survey were able to see how much of the information was based on their own research, how much was based in their own experience, and how much could be explained in an online class.
In one class, students were able see how the same chemical reactions were done in different ways by watching videos of a scientist doing the work and the student doing the reaction.
Simeath also created a digital edition of the book that is meant to be accessible to students on tablets, iPads, or smart phones.
There are currently two versions of the class.
The digital version is a one-hour video course, while the print edition is a more traditional version of the same class.
Sminead said he hopes the print version will become more popular as more students take it.
For more information, visit his website.
Follow Allison on Twitter: @alex_dallas