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The Transition from In-Person to Online Classes

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Building Success in the Online Classroom

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Paper Authors


Reihaneh Jamshidi University of Hartford

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Reihaneh Jamshidi is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Hartford. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University in 2018. Her teaching focuses on materials science and mechanical design. Reihaneh’s primary research interests are design, manufacturing, characterization, and mechanics of soft materials and structures.

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Eoin A. King NUI Galway

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Dr. Eoin King is Lecturer of Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway. He has extensive experience in the areas of acoustics, noise control, transportation and urban sustainability. He is currently Managing Editor of Noise/News International, a quarterly publication from the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering.

He is a member of the European Commission Noise Expert Group, and in the past has served as member of the Board of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (USA), and the International WELL Building Institute’s Sound Concept Advisory Panel.

He is author/co-author of more than 70 academic journal papers, book chapters, conference papers and reports, including one book. He holds a B.A. B.A.I. Mechanical Engineering (2003), Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics (2007) and PhD (2008) in Environmental Acoustics all from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Following EU postdoctoral research on noise assessment and control, he established a start-up noise and vibration consulting company before moving to the only US university that offers specialist undergraduate programs in acoustics and music.

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Presently, online learning environments are more prevalent than ever before. In Spring 2020, all universities in the United States and many other parts of the world switched from in-person to online instruction. Some classes were held through live video conferencing environments (Synchronous), and some others were taught by recorded materials (Asynchronous). In this study, we present survey results on students’ perception of the transition to online learning. Surveys were conducted on two synchronous and two asynchronous engineering courses. The survey's goal was to allow students to share their challenges and overall experiences of the transition. Another goal of the survey was to ask students’ opinions on how certain features of the online classes impacted their learning. The specified features for the synchronous lectures were: (1) live discussions, questions, and answers; (2) connecting with the class on a regular basis; (3) receiving lessons at certain times of the week; and (4) keeping pace with the live lectures on a virtual environment. For the asynchronous lecture, the features were: 1) online videos and discussions, questions and answers via email/blackboard; 2) not being connected with the class in a live setting; 3) flexibility in accessing the lectures at any time; and 4) keeping pace with the recorded videos. In addition to discussing the survey results, refinement methods are proposed to address the challenges and issues indicated by students. Although this is a case study, the survey data results denote some aspects of each instruction mode that might generate some insights for online classes.

Jamshidi, R., & King, E. A. (2021, July), The Transition from In-Person to Online Classes Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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