August 23, 2022
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In March 2020, academic institutions across the world were involuntarily presented with the challenge of teaching and engaging students remotely through online classes. These forced adaptations allowed instructors to develop best practices they would carry with them into their classrooms post initial pandemic stages. During the spring semester of 2021, an Introduction to Environmental Engineering Course offered to college Juniors was taught using one of these initial best practices, a hyflex teaching pedagogy. This study looks at the effectiveness of a hyflex teaching pedagogy in environmental engineering education based on student performance on major graded events and achievement of course outcomes. These results can help shape the future of environmental engineering education by helping to evaluate the effectiveness of changes made to traditional education because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pedagogical changes that enhanced student engagement and performance should be retained in a post-pandemic classroom while those that inhibited engagement and performance should be modified before continuing. Under the flexible pedagogy, during the 2021 spring semester, students were afforded the opportunity to choose their modality for receiving classroom instruction in an introduction to environmental engineering course. For each lesson, the student could choose to either attend the 55-minute lesson in person or remotely using a Blackboard Collaborate classroom. Students were not tied to a single modality and could change the method of instruction for each lesson. In support of hybrid pedagogy, during class time the instructor used tools to encourage student engagement from both in-person and remote students during each of the 40 lessons. The attendance modality was recorded for all 213 students for every lesson. Their performance across three exams, three problem sets, and the final exam were correlated, using Microsoft Excel’s built-in correlation matrix function, to the students’ method of attendance. This evaluation provided insight regarding if the method of instruction affected student performance. All students enrolled in the course received the same lesson content where the only difference was whether they chose to receive that instruction remotely or in person. This study also compared student performance on course outcomes to previous years when the class was only offered in-person to determine if the hyflex pedagogies affected students’ achievement on any of the four desired course outcomes. The results of this study show that student performance throughout the semester on graded events had only a low to moderate correlation with chosen modality. Attendance favoring in-person learning only showed a slight correlation towards an increased overall average in the class but not enough to make it statistically significant. Overall, students performed only slightly better on some of the course outcomes to the previous years’ performance. These results encourage instructors to continue to explore teaching pedagogies that were bred out of the adherence to pandemic constraints. Through deliberate and inclusive engagement strategies regarding preparation and the conduct of instruction, students may be allowed to select their teaching modality without significant impact on performance.
Linvill, C., & Wallen, B. M. (2022, August), Effectiveness of a Hyflex Teaching Pedagogy in Environmental Engineering Education on Student Performance and Course Outcomes Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/40708
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