F2-AL3-6 - Collaborative Learning in Engineering Students under Social Distancing: An Action Research

2. Research-to-Practice Work In Progress
Rosanna Yuen-Yan Chan1 , Yuming Zhang1
1 Department of Information Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

In this work-in-progress, an action research was performed in a taught postgraduate engineering course during the global pandemic of COVID-19 in Spring 2020. Due to the social distancing policy, all courses offered by the authors’ university must be delivered online. In addition to the synchronous online lectures delivered through ZOOM, the course instructor (first author) established a class blogging community as an innovative practice to promote students’ social epistemic cognition (SEC) under physical isolation. The current action research focuses on course design, with a disposition that students’ SEC can be enhanced by collaborative learning in form of a class blogging community. The action research consisted of three implementation loops. The first author reflected her teaching in the end of each loop, and modified her practice in the next loop. A summative evaluation was conducted in the end of the semester. Our results suggest that the class blogging community, together with teacher’s action research and students’ social network analysis, are effective strategies in enhancing engineering students’ collaborative learning under nearly completed physical isolation.