Tawfik standing in front of a large petroleum boat being projected on a screen

Congratulations to Tawfik Elshehabi who was selected as our September Fellow of the Month! Dr. Elshehabi, an instructor in the department of Petroleum Engineering, was selected as a LAMP fellow in the 2019-2020 cohort. On his application, Tawfik stated, "As someone who loves teaching, I throw my heart and soul into every class since teaching is [a] wonderfully fulfilling, intellectually stimulating, and enjoyable activity." Tawfik's student-centered philosophies and his unparalleled commitment to his own educational development made him a certain pick by the five instructional experts who selected the LAMP cohort.



From June 2nd to the 7th, Tawfik participated in an immersive Summer Institute held in Sheridan, Wyoming. Throughout the week, Tawfik drew on his own considerable experience to interact richly with other participants, and then knit together new knowledge about team-based learning, cognitive & affective taxonomy, typologies of learning, metacognition and student self-assessment. At the end of the week, when he sat down to develop his own instructional strategy, Tawfik was compelled to begin at the most important and basic level of development. He created a novel visual model (called the A.S.K. Model) to display his philosophy:




This model not only visually represents Tawfik's teaching philosophy but it simultaneously communicates classroom climate and expectations to his students. It allows them to recognize him as an accessible instructor who values collaborative learning. It also allows them to realize that they will gain both demonstrable skills, and also the ethics, mindset and values to apply these skills! In his detailed instructional strategy, Tawfik states, ".knowledge (what we do) includes a balance between learning the big picture and the minor details to help [students in] making outrageous connections. It also embraces the right balance between understanding the principles, field practices, and process design." The making of "outrageous connections" is at the heart of design and absolutely essential to innovative engineering!

Tawfik's development of a novel philosophical teaching model is, alone, distinguishing enough. However, his instructional strategy went above and beyond in countless other areas. He developed specific and measurable learning outcomes across the levels of Bloom's taxonomy. Moreover, these outcomes perfectly align with his planned active learning strategies and assessments. His active learning strategies include hands-on simulator practices, problem-based learning, team-based learning, self-assessment exercises, flipped class days, peer evaluation, case studies, ask an expert, technical reports & presentations and modeling!

Tawfik is also deeply committed to inclusion and this has further informed his course design. He will allow alternative modalities for diverse students to show their knowledge and he has selected teams to maximize diversity! Tawfik understands that diverse student teams will find the most creative solutions to complex problems.

In addition to his work on inclusion within his own classroom, Tawfik has also joined the Leadership Team working to submit a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence Challenge Proposal. Already he has participated in one Think Tank where we considered both the current state of the University and our future dreams for increased inclusion.

Tawfik Elshehabi inspires all of us to push ourselves to make deeper synthetic connections in our learning! He is a great role model to students and we are very lucky that he is a part of our LAMP family and greater UW community!

For more about Dr. Elshehabi, please also see the recent news release in the Laramie Boomerang!




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