July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
EXAMINATION OF PROFESSOR-STUDENT INTERACTIONS AND UNDERGRADUATE STEM STUDENT LEARNING EXPERIENCES DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC ABSTRACT Professor-student interactions influence student learning experiences and performance. The COVID pandemic transformed STEM learning environments across U.S. institutions; however, its impact on STEM professor-student interactions and STEM student learning experiences are yet to be understood. The purpose of this nationwide inductive research study is to examine the impact of COVID-19 on professor-student interactions, undergraduate STEM student learning, and STEM student performance. To achieve this, a qualitative method is adopted and purposive sampling is utilized to enroll 63 STEM students from six U.S institutions. Data is collected through one-hour ZOOM interviews, giving students the opportunity to narrate their STEM learning experiences and performance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The data is analyzed using the NVIVO qualitative analysis software for coding, categorizing, memo-ing, and constant comparative analysis. Results reveal emergent codes on the STEM professor-student interactions to include professor leniency, caring attitude, availability, communication, instruction style, teaching resources, technology literacy, camera on/off requirements, live/recorded sessions, time zone, and student workload. Limited positive impacts on student learning include improved familiarity with alternate STEM learning resources and development of virtual learning soft skills. Negative learning experiences are extensive and coded as: poor comprehension, keeping up, overdrive, isolation, lowered motivation, schedule conflicts, and anxiety. Consequently, students made adaptation decisions coded as: alternate learning sources, refined scheduling, community support, preferring teaching assistants, working out, reporting professors, procrastination, and tuning out. While proactive students and students with prior virtual learning experiences improved or maintained their grades, many students opted for the pass/fail grade or complete withdrawal due to poor STEM learning and performance. Findings indicate that while STEM professors were adjusting to modified teaching environments, many STEM students were developing a sense of independence, self-study, and peer reliance to improve their own STEM understanding and performance with minimal reliance on STEM professors. Lessons learned and best practices for professor-student interactions and student learning are recommended for potential replication in STEM communities for improved adaptability and resiliency during future pandemics. Future research will focus on measuring the effect of best practices on professor-student interactions, student learning experiences, and performance.
Fash, M. F., & Ofori-Boadu, A. N., & Bonku, R., & Alford, W., & Ferguson, A. C., & White, A. M. (2021, July), An Examination of Professor-Student Interactions, Stem Learning Challenges, and Student Adaptation Decisions During Covid-19 Pandemic Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36668
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