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Evaluation of Teaching Through Online Tools and Canvas Learning-management System at Morgan State University

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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

Faculty Development 4: COVID-19's Impact on Students

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Faculty Development Division

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Paper Authors


Celeste Chavis P.E. Morgan State University Orcid 16x16

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Celeste Chavis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Transportation and Urban Infrastructure Studies in the School of Engineering at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Chavis is a registered professional engineer in the State of Maryland. Her research focuses on transportation operations, safety, and performance metrics for multimodal transportation systems through an equity lens. Dr. Chavis specialized in instructional technology, STEM education, and ABET accreditation.

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Steve U. Efe Morgan State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Steve Efe is an Assistant Professor and the Assistant Director of the Center for Advanced Transportation and Infrastructure Engineering Research. He obtained his Doctor of Engineering in Civil Engineering with a major in Structural Engineering and minor in Construction from Morgan State University. He has more than 15 years of outstanding experience in practicing, teaching, and research in civil and transportation engineering. He is experienced in project management, inspection and construction supervision, adaptive materials and construction techniques, high performance material testing and simulations, material modeling and computational mechanics. His major areas of research interest are structural engineering, construction, sustainable infrastructure, new material development, physical and numerical modeling of structures, and engineering education.

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With a rapid shift to remote online learning to meet social distancing goals, Morgan State University (MSU), a historically black college and university in Baltimore, Maryland, has transformed the majority of on-campus face-to-face courses to online (asynchronous) or remote (synchronous) courses. After switching to a new learning management system in Summer 2019, the specialty-trained faculty known as Canvas Ambassadors were activated to provide emergency support due to COVID-19. Despite rapid response through professional development for instructors, trainings for learners, and technical support for content development, there still exist issues related to changing faculty roles, transitioning from face-to-face to online, time management, technology limitations, and teaching styles. Using Canvas Learning Management (LMS) report analytics, this paper compares three semesters: Fall 2019 (pre-pandemic), Spring 2020 (emergency transition to remote), and Fall 2020 (fully remote). The switch to remote learning in Spring 2020 resulted in approximately double the number of views per course and triple the number of actions by students each week. The increase in page views aligns with faculty use of Canvas features. Faculty engaged students with the use of discussion boards and uploaded more files and media, which spurred more module and page views. An important finding from this study was that between Fall 2019 and Spring 2020, faculty did not significantly increase their use of Canvas LMS features, as indicated by the number of page views and student actions. Thus the authors can conclude that faculty lacked the readiness and motivation to improve their courses until faced with the prospect of long-term remote instruction.

Chavis, C., & Efe, S. U. (2021, July), Evaluation of Teaching Through Online Tools and Canvas Learning-management System at Morgan State University Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37111

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