Impact of Remote Instructional Format on Student Perception of a Supportive Learning Environment for Expertise Development

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The purpose of this research study was to examine the impact of the transition to remote learning in a senior-level elective class in transportation engineering with lecture and laboratory components at the Pennsylvania State University. Specifically, the study seeks to determine how the transition to remote instruction impacted student perceptions of the learning environment as it relates to the development of their professional expertise. Students' perception on the learning environment was measured using the Supportive Learning Environment for Expertise Development Questionnaire (SLEED-Q) [1]. The SLEED-Q was administered to students in Fall 2018 and Fall 2019 (normal instruction) and compared with responses obtained from Fall 2020 (remote instruction). Prior data (2018, 2019) was collected for baseline comparison as part of a larger curricular revision project to examine the impact of inquiry-based learning activities intended to be implemented in 2020. However, these activities were not implemented as planned due to the COVID pandemic. Instead, the course was taught using normal methods and techniques, except for the transition to a hybrid format. Lectures were performed synchronously online, while field-based laboratory activities that were intended to reinforce the concepts taught in the lecture were performed in-person. Due to social distancing regulations, instructions on the laboratory activities were provided virtually (instead of in-person in prior semesters) and immediate assistance was only available through phone calls or video conferencing. The results suggest that the remote instruction approach was able to maintain the same supportive environment as normal, in-person instruction and perhaps even provide a more supportive environment in some respects. These results demonstrate that there could be some positive features of remote instruction that could be integrated into normal, in-person instruction to support the development of professional expertise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jul 26 2021
Event2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 26 2021Jul 29 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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