In 2002 the department received two grants from The Teaching Resources Center to develop a teaching manual for ENG-45. During the summer, fall and winter Matt Camilleri and Nils Hakansson, experienced and dedicated teaching assistants, did all of the experiments and compiled the data for use by future teaching assistants. They also collected materials and developed their own materials for the teaching assistant's manual. Mike Meier put this all together into a single 50+ page manual which is now given to all ENG-45 teaching assistants and is used in the EMS-390 course "Teaching Materials Science".

This manual is constantly being updated and expanded. Each quarter the teaching assistants will provide feedback, suggestions and additional contributed articles which will be incorporated into this manual. Terms of employment and other campus-wide changes will also be included in updates.

Copies of this teaching assistant training manual can be obtained by contacting Mike Meier.


The chapters in the teaching assistant manual are:

  • Introduction - the history and teaching of ENG-45 and why we had to develop this manual
  • On Being a Teaching Assistant at U. C. Davis - the importance of the teaching assistant, the challenges and resources available
  • Working for the Department - applying for the position, business details about the appointment
  • About ENG-45 - course objectives and organization
  • The ENG-45 Teaching Assistant Assignment - what the teaching assistant does in ENG-45, including teaching objectives, what happens during a typical laboratory and discussion session, responsibilities, time commitments and significant dates
  • Working with Students - about the many types of students who take ENG-45
  • Teaching Laboratory Safety - training the teaching assistant receives and training he/she gives the students
  • Teaching the Experiments - goals, preparation and principal tasks undertaken during a typical laboratory session
  • Teaching Report Writing - writing is important, resources, teaching the report format and keys to getting the students to writing good reports
  • Grading Laboratory Reports - elements of good grading, grading in multi-section courses, grading standards and approaches to actually scoring the reports
  • Academic Misconduct - practical advice on how to handle typical situations
  • Notes and Observations of Past Teaching Assistants - feedback and advice for future teaching assistants from past teaching assistants
  • Appendix A – Notes Concerning Specific Experiments
  • Appendix B – Checklist for ENG-45 Discussion and Laboratory Sessions
  • Appendix C – Results from the Experiments
  • Appendix D – Contributed Documents

Contributed Documents

The contributed articles summarized in Appendix D are available for downloading from this page. These files are Microsoft Word files which you can customize. Please acknowledge the authors of any of these documents you use.

Nils Hakansson, Fall 2003 – The students are given a copy of the syllabus for the laboratory section. Sometimes the teaching assistant will also write a version that includes some of the information in the official syllabus, but will also include specific policies and notes that apply to that specific section.

Section Sign-up Sheet
Matt Camilleri – To minimize the confusion of the first class meeting this sheet can be used to take roll and get the students’ preferred email addresses. Note: teaching assistants are given printed class rosters which list the students’ names, majors, years and email addresses.

Engineering 45 Report Format/Outline
Nils Hakansson – This document contains Nils’s notes to his students on writing laboratory reports. It focuses on the report format, but goes beyond what the students are given in their laboratory manual.

Teaching Tips
Jack Kotovsky and Ben Goss – Jack and Ben wrote this straight-forward list of things to consider when teaching. It includes tips on making presentations, blackboard technique, listening to your students, grading their work, and office hours. While it does not address laboratory teaching, it contains very good advice.

Student Peer Review Form
Sarah Hummel – This form can be helpful in the laboratory report peer review exercises. It will help the students record their comments after reading a fellow students report. This form can then be given to the author.

Writing Laboratory Reports
Nils Hakansson – This document lists many do’s and don’ts for writing the laboratory reports. It lists helpful things such as the order in which parts of the report should be written, stating clearly the objectives, and then it deals with each section of the report.

Microsoft Excel and Word Basics
Matt Camilleri – Many ENG-45 students use Microsoft Word and Excel to perform calculations, create their graphs, and write their reports. Many of them are also new to Excel and Word, so several teaching assistants got together to write this two-page quick reference guide.

Lecture Notes, Ionic Bonding
Nils Hakansson, Winter 2003 - Lecture notes for the first experiment.

Lecture Notes, Mechanical Properties
Nils Hakansson, Winter 2003 - Lecture notes for the second experiment.

Using the Spreadsheet Template for the Tensile Test Data
Nils Hakansson - Helpful hints for students who are having trouble using the template we have provided to help them import their data and plot stress-strain curves.

Lecture Notes, Equilibrium Phase Diagrams, Draft Version
Nils Hakansson, Winter 2003 - Lecture notes for the third experiment. This is a draft (incomplete) version of Nils' notes.

Lecture Notes, Recovery, Recrystallization and Grain Growth
Nils Hakansson, Winter 2003 - Lecture notes for the fourth experiment.