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The COVID-19 pandemic required a rapid shift in course content delivery. Educators were faced with the challenge of providing some sort of continuity to student learning. Several content delivery modalities were used, including asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid. The term HyFlex gained popularity, representing simultaneous offering of courses in-person, asynchronously online, and synchronously online, with students given the flexibility to engage through any of the modalities. New and innovative approaches to interactive learning were developed and implemented. Additionally, a transition to the online performance of laboratory experiments was required. Some of these new methods have carried over as we have moved back into more traditional education operations.
In this paper, faculty from multiple institutions will share success stories from techniques developed during the transition to online learning that have been transferred to or refined for the post-COVID in-person learning environment. For example, deep integration of tablets into courses for lecture presentations (with screen recording), notetaking, problem-solving, and exam administration aided in remote instruction and has been continued. The use of online simulation tools (such as TinkerCAD) to perform traditional hands-on experiments in simulation has been continued as pre-lab assignments or to compare data collected in the laboratory to expected/theoretical results. It was also discovered that remote/online tasks administered through a learning management system (LMS) can be effective at building community. Starting with “introduce yourself” videos or discussion forum tasks can help students build community for the in-person classroom as well. Video presentations of assignments provide a way to preserve in-class time for problem-solving sessions (flipped-classroom model). The submission of student-narrated video explanations of their homework problem solutions or lab exercise results helps to promote student understanding of the subject matter. The opportunity to have guest speakers virtually in the classroom from anywhere in the world became easier, more prevalent, and more comfortable — and the use of virtual visitors has been maintained. The perceived effectiveness of different delivery methods: in-person (both students and presenter in the classroom) vs. live - virtually (students in the classroom, presenter virtually) vs. pre-recorded video (either in or out of the classroom) will also be discussed.
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