July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Active learning, such as hands-on activities, provides students with opportunities to develop skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork  . Incorporating hands-on learning into the classroom environment involves several challenges including the design of the activities, building and setup of equipment, and reallocation of limited contact hours. While challenges exist for in-class hands-on learning, further hurdles, such as access to materials and activity scaffolding, are presented when adapting hands-on learning for remote course delivery.
This paper describes the process of designing a series of remote hands-on activities, called Hands on Learning Days (HOLD), for an Introduction to Statics course based on materials that students have in their residences. Techniques to increase student access to the hands-on experiences included designing each activity using common materials that have many possible substitutions such as string, which is easily replaced with thread, floss or computer cables.
Student-learning gains from the remote hands-on activities are presented and compared with those from an in-person hands-on instructional environment through the use of a midterm course evaluation and the Student Assessment of their Learning Gains (SALG) administered upon completion of the course. The vast majority (91%) of students had no or little difficulty finding the supplies needed to complete the HOLD activities. The findings suggest that, even under the extreme circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, HOLD had a positive effect on student learning. In 5 of the 14 learning outcomes assessed, the effect of HOLD was equal to or greater than the effect of attending lecture and had a compensatory effect, allowing similar learning to the average in-person, pre-pandemic learning environment.
 L. Robertson, “Toward an Epistemology of Active Learning in Higher Education and Its Promise,” in Active Learning Strategies in Higher Education: Teaching for Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity, 1st ed., Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited, 2018.  B. Trilling and C. Fadel, 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times, 1st ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009.
Wodin-Schwartz, S., & Lechasseur, K., & Keller, C. A. (2021, July), Hands On Learning in a Remote Introduction to Statics Classroom Environment Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37237
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