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Online Synchronous Delivery of Environmental Engineering During Covid-19 Pandemic: A Case Study On Assessment
Online synchronous/asynchronous/hyflex 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 the assessments of students’ performance in environmental engineering for hybrid delivery mode and then suddenly converted to an online synchronous delivery mode due to COVID-19 pandemic. 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, for Summer and Fall 2020 both midterm and final exams were online due to COVID-19 adjustment. Although it could not be confirmed by statistical analysis of the final exam scores, weighted average GPA, and the overall course grades, the online synchronous delivery approach seemed to degrade the levels of students’ performance to some extent. Additionally, it could be somewhat concluded that online synchronous delivery approach apparently did not maintain the same levels of students’ performance.