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Assessment of Electromagnetics Course Materials Developed For Remote Instruction
In spring 2020, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, like other courses on campus, our Electromagnetic Fields and Applications course in the electrical engineering department was transitioned to remote instruction and lasted for five weeks between spring break and the finals week. In-person instruction was conducted for ten weeks prior. The course learning objectives and course assessments for the Electromagnetics course were revised for remote instruction. One of the challenges in the delivery of education in remote instruction was limited time to prepare quality materials for students to learn the course contents in an effective way. We produced the teaching materials within the limited timeframe by using technology available and accessible at hand to the instructor. That technology included a Samsung tablet with a stylus (S-Pen), a versatile notetaking app S Note, and a screen recording app xRecorder. We had not attempted to produce teaching materials using such technology before but we committed to it due to limited time. Our experience was that the tools facilitated a smooth process of documenting the lecture materials in the S Note document and the recording of the lectures in mp4 format. Weekly announcements were sent to the students informing them of the instructor prepared lecture videos to view for the week, the reading assignments, the homework problems, and ways to get help from the instructor. The reading assignments matched the contents of the lecture videos and offer extra information for those students interested in learning more about the topics discussed in the videos. The homework problems also matched the lecture videos. The effectiveness of the above pedagogical approach for remote instruction was assessed through a survey and end-of-term student evaluation. The main finding was that the students felt they learned from the lecture videos as much as from the in-person modality in the classroom.