ASU faculty reflect on teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic
Self-paced learning, optional in-person attendance, and class-voted deadlines are now a staple of Christina Carrasquilla’s classes after teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to this, Carrasquilla, a lecturer in graphic information technology, taught a mix of in-person and asynchronous online courses that worked in tandem to create a HyFlex classroom – an instructional model that allows a class to move easily from one learning environment to another.
“I took a lot of what I knew from asynchronous teaching and incorporated it into my synchronous classroom teaching,” Carrasquilla said. “But then the pandemic in the HyFlex situation allowed me to bring some of that into my asynchronous teaching – so I feel like both elevated.”
For professors at the University, the pandemic changed the way they taught their classes. Professors have found that recording their lectures increases grades, that some assignments being virtual allow students to produce higher quality work, and that the course does not need to be required for students to pass. .
In fall 2020, ASU used three modes of learning based on the severity of COVID-19 cases, including in-person, ASU Online, and ASU Sync. Virtual learning continued until in-person classes return in fall 2021.
The midpoint of the pandemic also led to ASU Online having a record number of signups; more than 60,000 students enrolled in ASU Online for this semester and accompanied more than 3,000 professors teaching virtually.
“I think we will see the gap between online experience and immersion continue to narrow as we use what (we) have learned over the past few years to increase the number and reach of virtual opportunities. accessible to our students,” Dominique Perkins, head of marketing and communications at the School of Life Sciences, said in an email.
Laura Guerrero, a professor at the Hugh Downs School Of Human Communication, had already prepared from virtual tryouts during spring break in 2020 and online teaching workshops years before.
“For the first semester, materials were readily available. Bringing lectures online and modifying classroom activities were two things that could be done online fairly quickly,” Guerrero said.
Once she started teaching online, Guerrero began to notice that some assignments worked better online because it made it easier for students to view instructions or divide work into group projects more evenly.
“I have other (activities) that didn’t work as well online, and I kept them in class, so being able to learn which affordances work well was really helpful,” Guerrero said.
When ASU began moving to online learning due to the pandemic, Tejaswi Linge Gowda, a clinical assistant professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, was teaching three programming courses.
“It was helpful to record the class, especially because I was able to share my screen on Zoom. It worked really well. And what I liked about Zoom is that I could also watch the screen of my students, and they could share their screen with me,” Gowda said.
Guerrero also noted that students given the ability to rewind lectures and videos produced a higher quality of work, noting an example of students analyzing film clips while looking for psychological attachment styles.
Due to the success, Carrasquilla felt through her new teaching methodologies, the students in her classes performed better. She presented his findings to 2022 UCDA Design Educator Summit: AGENCY. Grades between Spring 2020 and Spring 2022 increased by 3.2%, course ratings increased by 2%, and instructor ratings increased by 8%.
“I was surprised to see an increase (in the ratings) on the instructor evaluations. Of all the results, this was the biggest change – and I think it’s all about the students getting involved,” Carrasquilla said. “The students felt like they were in control and that I cared, which was always true, but they felt they felt it more sincerely because of these approaches.”
Students felt like they could control how they learned, which was attributed to what Carrasquilla called “democratized delivery,” an approach where the class agrees on when to move on to the next topic, they vote on. due dates and the majority of the work is done together during class.
“They really appreciate it and feel like a weight is lifted — and they can really spend time learning rather than rushing and doing it,” Carrasquilla said.
Even for the more technologically advanced classes, Gowda was able to provide students with a programming kit so they could keep learning.
“We needed materials and used the electronics lab for a few classes,” Gowda said. “So we came up with a programming kit, basically, that has standard interface wires where you can just put them like Legos – basically a ‘plug and play’ – and we were able to mail them out to all of our students. . »
Even though students were more isolated, online learning and open-book testing prepared them more for a professional environment than for classroom learning, Guerrero said.
“In the real world, you have to be good at both. You have to be able to sit down at your computer and come up with something and use resources, but you also have to be good at coming up with some kind of paragraph quickly. -length of spontaneous response,” Guerrero said. “As teachers, we want students to come out of our classrooms able to master all of these types of assessments as well.”
Edited by Jasmine Kabiri, Wyatt Myskow and Kristen Apolline Castillo.
Caera Learmonth is a full-time reporter for the Community and Culture desk. She was previously the editor of her high school newspaper and attended journalism programs at the School of the New York Times and the University of Southern California.
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