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Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Instructor Course Preparation Time During Transition to Asynchronous and Flipped-Style Lectures: A Case Study

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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

Faculty Development Division Technical Session 9

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Todd Freeborn The University of Alabama

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Todd Freeborn is an Associate Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He regularly teaches courses in circuit analysis, circuit networks, and microcomputers. Through NSF funding, he has coordinated REU Sites for engineering students to explore renewable resources and speech pathology and an IRES site focused on fractional-order circuits in collaboration with the Brno University of Technology in Czechia. He is also the coordinator for an NSF S-STEM program to prepare students for gateway courses across different disciplines of engineering to support and retain students in these disciplines. His research focuses on techniques to collect and analyze the electrical impedance of biological tissues and their potential applications.

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This lessons learned paper describes the alterations in course preparation time for shifting delivery formats to asynchronous and flipped-style delivery as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The transition to virtual-learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic shifted instruction from face-to-face delivery to virtual instruction in synchronous, asynchronous, and hybrid formats. These transitions required instructors to redesign course content, integrate new technologies into their workflow, and adapt to students changing needs for these new delivery formats. Each of these requirements is expected to have increased the course preparation time required by an instructor. Analysis of the alterations in instructors course preparation time in response to altering course delivery is required to quantify the workload increase experienced by instructors during this period. These details are useful to inform future workload planning related to course development and instruction for instructors and faculty. This case study analyses the time committed by a single instructor to two core electrical engineering courses at XXXXXX, one focused on electric networks and another on microcomputers, that transitioned to asynchronous delivery in their 2020 iterations (as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic) and then to a flipped-style delivery in 2021 (as institutions transitioned back to face-to-face instruction). Prior to 2020, both courses were delivered in a traditional face-to-face lecture format. Instructor self-reported data (collected daily during the instruction of each course) regarding time committed to course administration, lecture preparation, lecture delivery, student support (office hours/emails), assignments, projects, and examinations will be compared between face-to-face, asynchronous, and flipped-style iterations to identify differences that result because of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the time preparation committed to these two courses will be compared against self-reported data from a course offered face-to-face for 5 semesters prior to the pandemic, setting the baseline trend for the time commitment of this instructor teaching the same course multiple times without redevelopment efforts. These insights aim to support faculty development for project management related to workload and timeline planning.

Freeborn, T. (2022, August), Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Instructor Course Preparation Time During Transition to Asynchronous and Flipped-Style Lectures: A Case Study Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN.

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