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The Effectiveness of Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Modes of Instruction in an Online Flipped Design Thinking Course

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Virtual Instruction in the First Year II

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37855

Download Count

429

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Paper Authors

biography

Lakshmy Mohandas Purdue University at West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-2953-6170

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Lakshmy Mohandas is a third year PhD student in the department of Technology Leadership Innovation at Purdue University. She is passionate in researching about how to improve student motivation and learning experience in higher education. She is also passionate about teaching and has been teaching undergraduate freshmen students in Purdue polytechnic.

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Nathan Mentzer Purdue University at West Lafayette

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Nathan Mentzer is an assistant professor in the College of Technology with a joint appointment in the College of Education at Purdue University. Hired as a part of the strategic P12 STEM initiative, he prepares Engineering/Technology candidates for teacher licensure. Dr. Mentzer’s educational efforts in pedagogical content knowledge are guided by a research theme centered in student learning of engineering design thinking on the secondary level. Nathan was a former middle and high school technology educator in Montana prior to pursuing a doctoral degree. He was a National Center for Engineering and Technology Education (NCETE) Fellow at Utah State University while pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. After graduation he completed a one year appointment with the Center as a postdoctoral researcher.

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Abstract

Motivation: This is a complete paper. There was a sudden shift from traditional learning to online learning in Spring 2020 with the outbreak of COVID-19. Although online learning is not a new topic of discussion, universities, faculty, and students were not prepared for this sudden change in learning. According to a recent article in ‘The Chronicle of Higher Education, “even under the best of circumstances, virtual learning requires a different, carefully crafted approach to engagement”. The Design Thinking course under study is a required freshmen level course offered in a Mid-western University. The Design Thinking course is offered in a flipped format where all the content to be learned is given to students beforehand and the in-class session is used for active discussions and hands-on learning related to the content provided at the small group level. The final learning objective of the course is a group project where student groups are expected to come up with functional prototypes to solve a real-world problem following the Design Thinking process. There were eighteen sections of the Design Thinking course offered in Spring 2020, and with the outbreak of COVID-19, a few instructors decided to offer synchronous online classes (where instructors were present online during class time and provided orientation and guidance just like a normal class) and a few others decided to offer asynchronous online classes (where orientation from the instructor was delivered asynchronous and the instructor was online during officially scheduled class time but interactions were more like office hours). Students were required to be present synchronously at the team level during the class time in a synchronous online class. In an asynchronous online class, students could be synchronous at the team level to complete their assignment any time prior to the deadline such that they could work during class time but they were not required to work at that time. Through this complete paper, we are trying to understand student learning, social presence and learner satisfaction with respect to different modes of instruction in a freshmen level Design Thinking course. Background: According to literature, synchronous online learning has advantages such as interaction, a classroom environment, and better course quality whereas asynchronous online learning has advantages such as self-controlled and self-directed learning. The disadvantages of synchronous online learning include the learning process, technology issues, and distraction. Social isolation, lack of interaction, and technology issue are a few disadvantages related to asynchronous online learning. Problem Being Addressed: There is a limited literature base investigating different modes of online instruction in a Design Thinking course. Through this paper, we are trying to understand and share the effectiveness of synchronous and asynchronous modes of instruction in an online Flipped Design Thinking Course. The results of the paper could also help in this time of pandemic by shedding light on the more effective way to teach highly active group-based classrooms for better student learning, social presence, and learner satisfaction. Method/Assessment: An end of semester survey was monitored in Spring 2020 to understand student experiences in synchronous and asynchronous Design Thinking course sections. The survey was sent to 720 students enrolled in the course in Spring 2020 and 324 students responded to the survey. Learning was measured using the survey instrument developed by Walker (2003) and the social presence and learner satisfaction was measured by the survey modified by Richardson and Swan (2003). Likert scale was used to measure survey responses. Anticipated Results: Data would be analyzed and the paper would be completed by draft paper submission. As the course under study is a flipped and active course with a significant component of group work, the anticipated results after analysis could be that one mode of instruction has higher student learning, social presence, and learner satisfaction compared to the other.

Mohandas, L., & Mentzer, N. (2021, July), The Effectiveness of Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Modes of Instruction in an Online Flipped Design Thinking Course Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37855

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