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Covid-19 and Virtual Learning: Challenges, Implementation, and Student Perception of Online Course Delivery Formats

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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

Holy Cow! We’re Going Online When? 

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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George Okere University of Cincinnati Orcid 16x16

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George is currently an associate professor educator, and heavy highway chair (endowed position) in the Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management Department in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati (UC). George has over 23 years of construction industry work experience, and 11.5 years of which was with Kiewit, where he worked on various heavy civil projects. He received his PhD in Technology Management from Indiana State University with a specialization in Construction Management. He joined academia in 2014. His research focus is on contract administration on heavy civil projects, as well as on construction education. His teaching areas include 1. introduction to the built environment and construction management, 2. construction materials and methods, 3. construction equipment, 4. building construction cost estimating, 5. heavy civil construction cost estimating, 6. project planning, scheduling, and control, 7. temporary structures, and 8. contract changes and claims.

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Over the years, the number of students who enroll in face-to-face learning typically outnumber those who enroll in online learning, and that most students prefer face-to-face instruction is not new or unknown. Then came the pandemic, and for the first time in our lifetime, the pandemic has posed a unique situation where more students are enrolled in online learning than face-to-face learning. Having the largest population of students to ever enroll in an online learning environment is an opportunity to revisit and learn about students’ learning preferences, which could lead educators to find new opportunities to enhance learning in both face-to-face and online environments. This research reports on issues related to the rapid implementation of online or otherwise remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The research addressed creative solutions to moving coursework to a virtual or online learning format. This research follows a qualitative research method. The research examined students’ perceptions of online course delivery for two construction-related courses, methods and supervision, and cost estimating, which are traditionally face-to-face and were shifted online due to COVID-19. The instructor, course delivery formats were consistent between the two courses, but the course content for both courses was different. The research findings show that the students perceived the online course delivery format as effective, yet most students prefer a face-to-face learning environment. Also, the research findings show that an effective online course must provide for and support an interactive and engaging learning environment. The research recommends the use of a synchronous online method, with regular class meetings, provision for breakout groups, and most of all, that educators make themselves available to quickly help students resolve any course-related issues students may run into online.

Okere, G. (2021, July), Covid-19 and Virtual Learning: Challenges, Implementation, and Student Perception of Online Course Delivery Formats Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36855

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