Teaching and Designing Online STEM Courses to Support Self-Directed Learning Skills

The COVID-19 pandemic gave college faculty and instructional support staff a crash course in online teaching and course design. Educators and students alike discovered certain benefits of online courses, but the shift to “online all the time” bore out the warning in past research that online learning—particularly asynchronous, self-paced courses that lack live interaction between faculty and students—puts more demands on students to manage their own learning and is associated with lower pass rates. The shift also revealed that many faculty have not been adequately prepared for the challenges of teaching and learning online, and that faculty often lack access to resources and institutional support for using technology effectively to foster student learning.