Asee peer logo

What Should Teachers Do? Visibility of Faculty and TA Support Across Remote and Traditional Learning

Download Paper |

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

Studies of Shifting In-person Courses to Online and Students' Online Behavior

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

25

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/38049

Download Count

192

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Morgan Elizabeth Anderson University of Washington

visit author page

Morgan Anderson is a Ph.D. student in the School Psychology Program at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is interested in the use of digital tools to support school-community partnerships that enhance access to mental wellness assessment and intervention for at-risk adolescents.

visit author page

biography

Denise Wilson University of Washington

visit author page

Denise Wilson is a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her research interests in engineering education focus on the role of self-efficacy, belonging, and other non-cognitive aspects of the student experience on engagement, success, and persistence and on effective methods for teaching global issues such as those pertaining to sustainability.

visit author page

biography

Ziyan Bai University of Washington Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-8630-6179

visit author page

Ziyan Bai has a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies with a focus on higher education. She has over six years of research and professional experience in the field of higher education. With a dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion, she is committed to using qualitative and quantitive research to inform impact-driven decisions.

visit author page

biography

Neha Kardam University of Washington

visit author page

Neha Kardam is a Ph.D. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle. She has a Master's Degree in Power System and is also working as an Assistant Professor and Department Chair in the Electronics Technology at Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Kirkland.

visit author page

biography

Shruti Misra University of Washington

visit author page

Shruti is a graduate student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her research interest is broadly focused on studying innovation in university-industry partnerships. She is interested in the various ways that universities and industry come together and participate in driving technological innovation at the regional and global level.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered best practices for instructors and teaching assistants (TAs) to support student learning in engineering. This does not necessarily mean that instructional support has diminished as a consequence of the transition to remote learning. In this study, instructional support was explored using quantitative and qualitative methods of data analysis. Surveys from over 600 students in sophomore and junior level courses in engineering at a large public institution were collected in the Spring of 2020 and compared to results from similar courses offered prior to the start of the COVID-19 crisis. Likert-scale items, as well as short answer items, that independently measured faculty support and TA support were analyzed in this study.

Initial t-tests indicated that perceptions of faculty support were not significantly different between remote and traditional learning. To consider the possibility that failure to reject the null hypothesis was due to course-by-course variations, additional t-tests were used to compare student perceptions of faculty support across pairs of courses taught in both settings. Post-hoc tests showed that faculty support was significantly higher in the remote learning setting in three of seven pairs of courses and significantly lower in the remote learning setting in the four remaining courses (p < 0.05). Similarly, in considering TA support, an initial t-test indicated that perceptions of TA support were not significantly different in remote learning compared to traditional learning, but in course-by-course comparisons, students believed they were offered significantly higher TA support in remote learning in three pairs of classes and significantly lower TA support in one pair of classes (p < 0.05) with three classes indicating no significant difference.

Students in both settings were also asked to identify one thing that faculty could do and one thing that TAs could do to better support their learning. Inductive coding of these short answer responses revealed that while in traditional learning, students emphasized faculty support in in-class and out of class delivery of materials, in remote learning, the emphasis shifted to needs for support in out of class delivery and out of class interactions. For TAs, student expectations were balanced between in-class delivery and out-of-class interactions in traditional learning but their needs for more out of class interactions dominated their concerns in remote learning. Overall, for faculty, about 20% of students requested greater availability in both remote and in-person settings. For TAs, 44% of students requested greater availability of and access to their TAs in remote learning, compared to 18% in in-person settings.

The analysis of both Likert-scale and short answer data regarding TA and faculty support in this study reinforces the importance of availability of instructional support regardless of setting. As students, TAs, and faculty continue to navigate the uncharted waters of the traditional college education system gone online, the nature of connection differs yet its importance remains the same.

Anderson, M. E., & Wilson, D., & Bai, Z., & Kardam, N., & Misra, S. (2021, July), What Should Teachers Do? Visibility of Faculty and TA Support Across Remote and Traditional Learning Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38049

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015