Student Experiences with Active Learning Across Course Delivery Modalities
Keywords:education, online learning, pedagogy, laboratory, hands-on, active learning
Background: Methods for the delivery of instruction in the engineering classroom have been shifting at an increased rate over the past few years due to several factors. Pedagogical approaches which have seen increased growth in adoption include the use of online delivery, for full courses or for portions of a course, pre-recorded preparatory material, and active-learning activities. According to the literature, students generally appreciate the use of active in-class experiences where there is ample time for asking questions and solving problems. Method: In this paper, I examine student perceptions of the use of a flipped-classroom approach with high levels of active-learning. I compare these perceptions across variations in course delivery (online and in-person), curriculum level (introductory and advanced), and laboratory setting (laboratory intensive or not). Students were surveyed using both qualitative and quantitative questions to compare across courses and across semesters where variations in delivery modality and course level occurred under the same single instructor. Results: The results of these survey instruments include a summary of the survey responses broken down across the three variations mentioned. Disambiguation of these results is limited due to the interrelations between each factor. Conclusions: The primary finding is that while students showed some preference for in-person course delivery and a laboratory-intensive experience, these differences were not significant. Instead, it appears that student perceptions of their course experience are only minimally influenced by these factors.
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