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User:Blconove:Teaching Portfolio


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Teaching Portfolio for Mr. Brandon Conover

This online Teaching Portfolio is primarily the result of my efforts while participating in NCSU's Preparing the Professoriate (PTP) program. While enrolled, I have worked closely with my faculty mentor and PhD advisor, Dr. Michael J. Escuti, in furthering the development of Electronics: Organic Devices & Liquid Crystal Displays], an Electrical and Computer Engineering course he created at NCSU.

It has been my honor and pleasure to be involved with this course in what I hope was an integral capacity. My view of collegiate teaching has become much more complex and appreciative and my individual teaching abilities have been greatly enhanced through practice, direct involvement with the students, and, more often than not, humility.

What follows is the fruits of these labors: my newly minted teaching philosophy, analysis of my teaching performance by the students and myself, primary teaching documents from the Soft Electronics course, and other related files and information. If you have any questions about the content herein or the course in general, please email me.

Brandon Leading LCD Lab(courtesy R. Barlow, 2008)
Brandon Leading LCD Lab
(courtesy R. Barlow, 2008)

Contact Information

Name: Brandon L. Conover
Office: MRC Room 412
Lab: MRC Room 302
Email: blconove@ncsu.edu

Curriculum Vitae (Feb '10)
Personal Webpage (Feb '10)

MS Electrical Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2006
BS Computer Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2003

Teaching Philosophies and PTP Objectives

The following represent opinions of B. Conover and should not be distributed or re-used without the author's permission.

Reviews and Assessments

Course Evaluation

With the intent of improving its curriculum and encouraging its teaching staff, NCSU makes surveys enrolled studnets within each course offered by the university. The survey is anonymous and not disclosed to the instructors until after couse completion. Presented here are the responses to the open-ended questions.

Student Survey

In order to assess particular aspects of the course, the lab, and Brandon's teaching effectiveness, a second survey was offered to the students at the end of the term using NCSU's Survey Server tool. This survey was also made anonymous so that the students could feel comfortable giving their true opinions. In addition to giving students the opportunity to evaluate Brandon's in-class teaching performance, questions specifically addressed portions of the course in which Brandon had direct involvement or primary creative authority. After compiling the responses, a personal evaluation was made and is also offered here.

Useful Resources and Links

The following are books and other resources that I read and utilized in preparation for and in conducting the Soft Electronics course beginning in early 2007. I highly recommend McKeachie's book for the amateur collegiate instructor and for the seasoned veteran. It covers everything from assigning grades and handling cheating to preparing lectures and simply enjoying the art of teaching.

  • McKeachie's Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, Twelfth Edition, by Wilbert J. McKeachie and Marilla Svinicki; Houghton Mifflin, 2006. ISBN 0-618-51556-9
  • 'The Joy of Teaching: A Practical Guide for New College Instructors, by Peter Filene; The University of North Carolina Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0-8078-5603-1

The Course: Organic Electronics and LCDs

This course focuses on the foundational principles of organic electronic and photonic devices, whose operation is fundamentally based on “soft” condensed-matter principles and materials. We will focus on current research efforts in a variety of organic devices, including flat-panel-displays (LCDs and Organic LEDs), transistor-based electronics, and solar cells. We will build from the traditional foundation of EE students in semiconductor materials and address the differences in physical properties, fabrication processes, and device limitations/advantages. Topics will include electronic transport and light emission, self-assembly and partial-order, lightwave propagation, and fabrication. A modest set of laboratory experiments will be included where students will fabricate the following devices: a single-pixel liquid crystal display, a polymer light-emitting-diode, a polymer field-effect-transistor, and an organic photovoltaic solar cell.

Course Website at NCSU (active while course is offered)

Syllabus 2008 (Jan '08)

Course Outcomes and Support

The laboratory component of this course is being created as part of a sponsored research grant (No. 0633661) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) program. They are freely available to other institutions interested in acquiring these lab modules, with many details available from the Soft Electronics Lab Modules project website.

Publications and Conferences

  • MRS Fall '08 Meeting (Citation)
  • Lab Components will be published in a peer-reviewed journal in early 2009

Examples of Teaching and Student Work

Several of my lecture slides are provided here for public viewing. All lecture files are property of B. Conover and should not be distributed or used outside of this portfolio without the permission of B. Conover. All course files and examples are password protected. Please email your request for access to these files.



Homework 1

Homework 2

Oral Presentations


Exam 1

Exam 2

Laboratory Component

Lab1: Single-Pixel Liquid Crystal Display

Lab2: Polymer Light-Emitting-Diode

Lab3: Organic Photovoltaic Solar Cell