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Work In Progress: From Face-to-Face to Online Learning Environments: A Transition to a Learner-centered Approach

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

NEE 1 - Innovative Teaching & Learning Strategies

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


John Alexander Mendoza-Garcia University of Florida Orcid 16x16

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John Mendoza Garcia is a Lecturer at the Institute for Excellence in Engineering Education in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering in the University of Florida. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Education at Purdue University, and he has a Master's and a Bachelor's in Systems and Computing Engineering from Universidad de Los Andes, in Colombia, and Universidad Nacional de Colombia respectively. He teaches professional skills like systems thinking, and design thinking. Dr. Mendoza-Garcia's research interests include investigating how to nurture in students these skills. He also worked in Industry before transitioning to academia.

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Heather Maness University of Florida

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Heather Maness has worked for the University of Florida in various capacities over the past 15 years, and has spent the past four years working as an instructional designer for UF Information Technology’s Center for Instructional Technology and Training. Lately her work has focused on transformation of courses adopting the flipped classroom model and consulting on assessment challenges at the course and programmatic levels. In 2016, she completed her PhD, majoring in agricultural education and communication, and minoring in higher education administration. Her research focuses on stakeholder (employers and students) evaluation for curriculum development and revision.

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A famous quote from Joel Barker says “when a paradigm shifts, everyone goes back to zero” and then “your success guarantees nothing.” Learner-centered approaches require that students are engaged and become responsible for their own learning process and that we, as instructors, become facilitators of their learning, instead of being the center of their learning process. Complementarily, online education is booming. Faculty all over the world are starting to upload their contents to the web to provide learning opportunities for students beyond their classrooms.

Having students in an online environment, either partially or fully, requires the instructor to learn new knowledge and skills that are needed to succeed in creating high quality online learning environments. Studies show that some of the challenges for faculty who are transitioning from face-to-face interaction to online learning environments include “significant upfront planning and organization” as well as translating and modifying materials from the regular classroom to the web-based environment. In fact, research also suggests that faculty “struggle with a lack of support and/or resources to design appropriate materials.” Another challenge is that some students expect instantaneous responses whenever they post a question or turn in assignments. Failing in providing this feedback within students’ time expectation could influence students’ perception of teaching availability and facilitation of learning. Shifting our focus to a learner-centered approach includes addressing previous knowledge, inclusivity (embracing diversity), engagement, etc. In this paper, we (an engineering instructor who is learning how to teach in online environments and an instructional designer who has supported several instructors facing this challenge) will share our experience developing one online learning environment to achieve a learner-centered course. Accordingly, we will share the issues the instructor had with his online teaching course and how, with the support of the instructional designer, these difficulties can be addressed using different instructional strategies and technological tools that are provided by our home institution.

Mendoza-Garcia, J. A., & Maness, H. (2019, June), Work In Progress: From Face-to-Face to Online Learning Environments: A Transition to a Learner-centered Approach Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33623

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