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A Survey-Based Study of Students’ Perspective on Different Remote Teaching Styles During COVID-19

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Perspectives on Engineering Education During COVID-19

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

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Paper Authors


Amr Hassan University of Pittsburgh Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Amr Hassan (also know as Amr Mahmoud) received his B.Sc. degree in Electronics and Electrical Communications Engineering and the M.Sc degree in Engineering Physics from Cairo University, Egypt, in 2011 and
2015, respectively. He earned his PhD in Computer Engineering from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh, USA. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor with the same department, since August 2019. Dr. Hassan's primary focus is on education development and innovation. His Research interests include, but not limited to: Machine Learning, especially Deep Learning, for Image Processing and Video Prediction, Neuromorphic Computing Systems and its applications.

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Ahmed Dallal University of Pittsburgh Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Dallal is an assistant professor at the department of electrical and computer engineering, Unversity of Pittsburgh, since August 2017. Dr. Dallal primary focus is on education development and innovation. His research interests include biomedical signal processing, biomedical image analysis, and computer vision, as well as machine learning, networked control systems, and human-machine learning.

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Mohamed A. S. Zaghloul University of Pittsburgh

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Mohamed A. S. Zaghloul was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1987. He received his B.E. degree in Electronics and Electrical Communications Engineering in 2009, and his M.Sc. degree in Engineering Physics in 2012, both from the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University. In 2019, he received a Ph.D. from the Electrical and Computer Engineering department of the University of Pittsburgh, in developing optical fiber sensors for monitoring harsh environments. Since 2019, he has been appointed as an Assistant Professor in the same department of the same school. Zaghloul is a recipient of multiple research and teaching awards, and since 2016 he has been appointed to the Postgraduate Research Program at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) administered through Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE).

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Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, normal life as we knew it was disrupted. Many universities across the US were forced to either end their Spring semester early or switch to remote learning for what is left of it, depending on their capacities and facilities. Most instructors were not well prepared to deliver their course contents remotely. They had to improvise their own remote teaching style, depending on their course type and the remote learning platform they were provided, which created extreme inconsistency among instructors and across universities. Students were obligated to this new learning environment and reported that they were overwhelmed with all its unprecedented challenges. Different remote teaching styles can be categorized into two main categories, Synchronous and Asynchronous teaching styles. In the former, the instructor and the students meet at the same time as their class, but virtually, using the provided online meeting platform. Then, the instructor would decide whether to record the virtual meeting and make it available to the students for later reviewing, or not. On the other hand, the Asynchronous method is where instructors pre-record their lectures as videos and make them available to the students before their scheduled classes. Students would have to review these video lectures before coming to the online class meeting, then discussions and interactive exercises would be held during class time. Each one of these learning styles possesses its own challenges, for the instructors and the students. For example, while the Synchronous style may seem to be the closest to a normal classroom, both instructors and students need to have a stable and fast internet connection, and a distraction-free environment to ensure everyone’s engagement in the class. Another challenge would be for students trapped abroad in different time zones, who might not be able to attend the online meeting at its original scheduled time. Alternatively, the Asynchronous style may help solve some of the aforementioned challenges, however, it manifests its own. The main disadvantage of this method is the lack of live interaction, as students don’t ask their questions while watching the recorded lecture, and that often affects their understanding for the remainder of the recorded lecture. Consequently, this might lead to doubling the amount of time and effort dedicated to each class. In this work, we study the students’ perspectives on different remote teaching styles and the challenges they face in remote learning. Five-hundred and nineteen students were surveyed across the Freshmen Program and the sophomore; junior; and senior years of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department of the school hosting this study. The study considers 12 different courses offered during Spring and Summer 2020. These courses cover a broad spectrum of types, including project-based, lab-based, and regular book courses. The results were analyzed to understand students’ preferences and struggles. Accordingly, we plan to recommend the best approaches that help most students achieve their learning objectives.

Hassan, A., & Dallal, A., & Zaghloul, M. A. S. (2021, July), A Survey-Based Study of Students’ Perspective on Different Remote Teaching Styles During COVID-19 Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36619

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