STEM Technician Students Surveyed About Remote Instruction

Marilyn Barger, Executive Director, Florida Advanced Technological Education Center, and Lakshmi Jayaram, President, Inquiry Research Group

During the recent “virtual” Spring Meeting of the Florida Forum on Engineering Technology, participants expressed concern about technician students’ experience in moving to remote instruction this semester due to COVID-19. Based on early reports from community college partners, the transition has been challenging, and some programs indicated students are even considering withdrawing from their programs. As one faculty member explained: “They have given up. [Students] feel they can’t do this online without support.” There was interest in discussing this topic further at the next ET Forum due to both the uncertainty related to the return of in-person instruction and the perceived need to improve student comfort and confidence in online learning. To help inform that discussion, the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE) and the Inquiry Research Group LLC teamed up to create a small pilot survey to collect some initial feedback from Florida technician students about their online experience this past semester.

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Episode 9: The Year in Review

Project Leadership Team, NSF ATE Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work, guests
September 2019 | 00:17:13
Episode 9 Transcript and Show Notes

As the Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work project celebrates its first birthday, it’s time to stop and ask, “What have we learned?” and “What have we accomplished?” Some highlights of Year 1 include:

  • Piloting an industry site visit/interview protocol and interviewing technicians, technician supervisors, and mid‐level managers,
  • Producing informative content exploring industry, education, and human resource issues relevant to the Future of Work,
  • Identifying three broad, cross‐cutting skill areas that should be included as “new fundamentals” in STEM technician training programs, and
  • Convening meetings of ATE Center Directors and industry leaders to examine the Future of Work at the human‐technology interface from multiple perspectives.

Stay tuned for Year 2!

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