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Online Synchronous Delivery of Environmental Engineering During Covid-19 Pandemic: A Case Study On Perception and Attitude
Online synchronous/asynchronous delivery of courses is a time-demanding approach to web-based teaching and learning systems that is designed to engage students in investigations of authentic concepts/problems without coming to the pre-set classrooms two or three times a week. This paper presents perceptions and attitudes of students that have participated in a hybrid course in environmental engineering then suddenly converted to an on-line synchronous delivery due to COVID-19 in Spring 2020. The course, `Introduction to Environmental Engineering', was developed as an on-line course for Civil and Environmental Engineering program students but taught as a face-to-face course and as a hybrid for several semesters. In the hybrid course set up, all the quizzes and homeworks were on-line while the midterm and final exams were in-class. However, for Spring 2020, the final exam was online, and for Summer and Fall 2020 both midterm and final exams were online due to COVID-19 adjustment. At the very end of the semesters, an on-line anonymous survey was conducted with five questions to understand the students’ perceptions and attitudes towards exam taking options and learning environment. Students’ perceptions and attitudes about online synchronous delivery approach compared to hybrid delivery approach appeared to be not favorable as a learning environment. Students preferred take-home exams over other options. Additionally, they learned less in online delivery than that of hybrid delivery.