Zooming in on Faculty: Behavioral Adaptability Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic

Lucy Atkinson Author
07/26/2021 Added
15 Plays


The crisis-induced changes in instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic present a unique opportunity to study faculty adaptability, a significant contributor to future adoption of best-practice teaching techniques. A focus on the experiences of engineering instructors during emergency remote teaching reveals important resources and supports necessary for developing the faculty adaptability that can lead to adaptation. The purpose of this research is to understand the self-reported activities of engineering instructors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the normality of instructors’ engagement in these activities, and how these two factors changed over the course of three semesters. The research question addressed in this study is: In what ways do instructors’ activities change over the course of teaching during COVID? Throughout the three semesters affected by COVID-19, teaching-focused engineering instructors voluntarily completed weekly or biweekly online surveys about their engagement in teaching-related activities and the normality of that engagement. While weekly and semester participation varied by professor, data analysis used descriptive statistics to obtain general trends in activity engagement for each semester and across all three semesters. By the end of the third semester, 85% of participants indicated normality of their teaching methods, suggesting that faculty successfully adapted to pandemic circumstances by engaging primarily in casual conversations with colleagues and self-teaching. These trends indicate that developing a supportive faculty community as well as providing space, time, and resources for faculty self-teaching should encourage future faculty adaptability and adaptation.

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