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Teaching Engineering Virtually: A Rapid Response to Address the Academic Challenges Generated by COVID-19

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Conference

ASEE 2021 Gulf-Southwest Annual Conference

Location

Waco, Texas

Publication Date

March 24, 2021

Start Date

March 24, 2021

End Date

March 26, 2021

Page Count

12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36406

Download Count

19

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Paper Authors

biography

Eleazar Marquez Rice University

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Eleazar Marquez is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Rice University.

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biography

Samuel Garcia Jr. NASA EPDC

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Dr. Samuel García Jr. serves as a NASA Educator Professional Development Specialist at Kennedy Space Center. Dr. García helps facilitate professional development to both formal and informal STEM educators utilizing NASA resources with a specific focus on Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. He also works with faculty serving in Minority Serving Institutions in developing STEM educational tools and resources for teachers to implement in their classrooms. Dr. García’s research agenda is geared towards community and educational change by creating healthy, equitable, and culturally responsive learning environments for traditionally underserved populations. Dr. García. earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas Río Grande Valley, formerly University of Texas Pan American and holds a doctorate degree in School Improvement from Texas State University.

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Abstract

In this study, an alternative pedagogical model was established to address the academic challenges posed when undergraduate engineering students in a private university in Texas were mandated to seek off-campus housing due to the outbreak of COVI-19. As a result of the rapid transition to remote instruction, traditional and effective pedagogical methods implemented for in-person instruction had to be modified to overcome challenges such as the lack of academic resources, established campus practices that promote effective learning (e.g., study groups), and time-zone differences. Additionally, the instructional format had to be adjusted to ensure that the academic development of the students was sustained until the end of the semester. In this study, a survey was conducted with a cohort of 42 students enrolled in the Rigid Body Dynamics engineering course to gauge responses and understand their perspectives regarding the implementation of the emerging CIRE model, which is the acronym for Communication, Initiation, Reduction, and Extension. Results indicate that the new model eased the challenges posed by remote instruction. The constant communication of the instructor with the cohort of students allowed an easy transition to remote instruction, answered homework and lecture questions in a timely manner, and allowed students to remain engaged despite the challenges of being remote. Further, initiating homework sets during class eliminated confusion on various problems and allowed for students to complete the assignments without the access to study groups whose time zones were in conflict. Results also indicate that reducing the number of problems on homework sets and extending submission deadlines allowed students to continue learning despite the challenges.

Marquez, E., & Garcia, S. (2021, March), Teaching Engineering Virtually: A Rapid Response to Address the Academic Challenges Generated by COVID-19 Paper presented at ASEE 2021 Gulf-Southwest Annual Conference, Waco, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/36406

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