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Transition to Virtual Instruction

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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

Multidisciplinary Experiences: Teaching in a Pandemic

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

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Paper Authors


Nicole Wagner California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

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Dr. Nicole Wagner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona). She received her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from SUNY at Stony Brook. After this, she completed her master’s and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota. At Cal Poly Pomona, she teaches courses in manufacturing processes and automation. Her research interests include materials processing using plasma, materials characterization, 3D printing, and student assessment.

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During the spring 2020 term, students and instructors were required to transition from in-person instruction to a distance learning mode. This transition occurred at the mid-point of the semester, moving from a face-to-face student-teacher interaction to a virtual instruction mode. While this transition was unexpected for students and instructors, it was also an opportunity to understand how student learning outcomes were affected and how students reacted to this change. Both lecture and laboratory courses were evaluated in this study, as well as lower-division and upper-division courses. Through a comparative survey, students were asked to evaluate the seven student learning outcomes articulated by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) during the face-to-face and virtual portions of the courses. Survey results showed that students rated their learning outcomes higher for face-to-face instruction for all course types and levels. The largest difference in how students rated their learning outcomes for before and after the transition to virtual instruction was seen for their ability to function effectively on a team. The smallest difference was seen for their ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions. Additionally, in a time in which our society required social distancing, students expressed that their biggest struggle was that they could not interact with other students.

Wagner, N. (2021, July), Transition to Virtual Instruction Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37936

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