July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
The landscape of higher education has always been changing, but never as fast as it has in the past year. Constant transitions between modes of material delivery have been a blow to student engagement, comprehension, and classroom relationships. Introducing a simple exercise in each class, such as having each student answer questions about themselves in front of the whole class or within breakout rooms, has proven to maintain student attendance and engagement despite changes in delivery method of instruction.
These practices were tested and proven to be advantageous to the classroom culture during the Spring and Fall 2020 semesters within two different introductory courses with two different instructors. During this time period, there were several shifts between traditional in-person instruction and synchronous virtual instruction. One cohort (Cohort A) answered prompts in front of the entire class and were surveyed comprehensively in the beginning, middle, and end of the semester. These students started the course fully in-person, and shifted to synchronous virtual instruction shortly after the mid-semester survey. The other cohort (Cohort B) started the course with synchronous virtual instruction with plans for partial in-person instruction. Cohort B students completed a one-question daily questionnaire and were placed into breakout rooms to answer prompts in a similar manner to Cohort A’s classwide activity. These students were surveyed several times during the semester to gauge student engagement and classroom relationships.
Students in Cohort A had statistically significant improvements in the number of other students they felt comfortable working with during the primarily online portion of the course and also provided qualitative feedback that this activity facilitated the transition effectively. Similarly, students in Cohort B completed the evidence-based Feedback Tool from CampusLabs and reported that the instructor displayed a personal interest in their learning a remarkable 93% of the time on a scale of Not At All (0%) to Completely (100%).
Importantly, these activities took just a fraction of class time in either delivery modality while maintaining class attendance and student-reported metrics of cooperative learning across modalities. Regardless of delivery, these activities were able to maintain or produce better connections between students as well as between students and faculty. Furthermore, they served to bridge transitions and maintain “normalcy” in the face of changing modalities and abrupt disruptions. The complete paper will provide a more comprehensive analysis of student responses and classroom data to support these conclusions.
Heinz, A. E., & Strauss, M., & Mallouk, K., & Staehle, M. (2021, July), Simple Exercises to Provide Continuity and Consistency in the Classroom Amidst Uncertain or Shifting Delivery Modes Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37714
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