July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a widespread shift in instructional practice as faculty scurried to shift to remote instruction. One positive consequence is that this shift inspired many faculty to think carefully about their teaching practice and the ways that technology tools and instructional strategies support their learning goals. Some administrators have also been quick to leverage this aspect to see the pandemic as an opportunity to promote a widespread shift to online instruction at the university. In this qualitative study, I examine closely that premise by looking at how students experienced the shift to remote learning in chemical engineering and related disciplines. The fundamental research question is, “do the student experiences in the shift to remote learning support advocacy for a scale-up in online education?”
Overall, students felt restricted in their ability to engage in remote instruction. A consistent focus of responses cited difficulty motivating to participate during class and fighting distractions. Students also described that missed social cues from not being able to see classmates caused disequilibrium in both lecture and in small group collaborative learning. As one student described, “it is almost like you can hide behind your computer and make your way through the classes without participating as much as you would during an in person class.” A few students felt it was difficult to jointly solve problems with their peers or instructors in the remote environment. Other issues that included frustration about their instructor’s fluency with technology (“preoccupied with keeping technological issues at bay’) and identifying space in their home environment where they could work. Surprisingly few students addressed specific pedagogical choices or strategies associated with remote teaching. These student experiences suggest we use caution in the extent to which we scale on line learning in chemical engineering. While it is important to compare learning outcomes between face-to-face and online modes, examination of student responses suggest that social threads that form the fabric of the classroom and university communities are critical to their development as engineers.
Koretsky, M. (2021, July), Student Responses to Remote Teaching During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Implications for the Future of Online Learning Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37759
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