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Evaluation of Use of Distance Learning Survey Published
April 29, 2020

As disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic affect every part of society, researchers are seeking innovative approaches to provide educational opportunities. In response, Primary Research Group Inc., publisher of research reports, surveys, and benchmarking studies, has announced the publication of the Survey of Deans of Engineering: Evaluation of Use of Distance Learning, ISBN 978-1-57440-636-8.

The report presents data and commentary from 20 deans of engineering programs at American colleges and universities, regarding their shift to distance education resulting from the coronavirus epidemic. The study looks closely at the technologies and practices adopted, including but not limited to use of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and many other applications, use of the learning management system and video sites such as YouTube. The report also examines how much work time deans are spending on the shift to online education, and what the prospects are for the summer term for getting back to, or not, classroom instruction.

The study also looks at how instructors are communicating with students, at the extent of asynchronous and synchronous distance education, with how the experience has impacted the way that engineering deans have viewed distance learning, and much more. Survey respondents evaluate the help that they have received from their IT departments, centers of teaching and learning, the library and other college and university departments involved in the massive shift to online learning.

The survey includes many findings including:

• Private college deans of engineering spend 82% of their staff time on the shift to distance education.
• 45% of deans of engineering surveyed have changed their grading paradigm with the switch to online learning.
• Google Hangouts was used by 20% of engineering programs surveyed with most use by private colleges, of which 25.87% were using Google Hangouts.

According to the survey, class listservs were the predominant means of student communication in 15% of programs.

Data in the 96-page page report is broken out by size and type of institution, by tuition level, for public and private institutions and enrollment level. A PDF edition of this report is currently available directly from Primary Research Group; a print edition will be available and can be ordered now. Site licenses are also available.

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