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Faculty Support | Community
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What do Students most want from Faculty?
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When asked to identify one action that faculty could take to best support students during emergency remote teaching, the highest percentage of students (10.9%) responded with requests for faculty to increase their availability outside of class. Students had a wide range of ideas as to how faculty could improve the educational experience during emergency remote teaching which extended well beyond increased availability. Examples of these "best practices" as identified by students are described below.

Increase Availability outside of class (10.9% of responses in emergency remote teaching and 8.7% of responses in traditional learning)

"Having an abundance of office hours is very helpful. I think is going above & beyond in that department & it is really helping my education to have many opportunities for extra help." (undergraduate student, introductory circuits course)

"Being available to answer questions a little after lecture or during office hours." (undergraduate student, signals and systems course)

"I think they should offer more office hours or some added list of resources (TAs, websites, etc.) that we can use to get help. One of the hardest things about online classes is feeling like you don't have enough support, like friends in the class or tutoring centers, to be able to succeed." (undergraduate student, signals and systems course)

"Discussion sections with the where we go over the concepts of the week with a more student perspective have been THE MOST HELPFUL THING EVER!!!" (undergraduate, signals and systems course)

"Being extra accommodating & realizing how much more difficult it is to successfully complete a STEM course online is important. Having multiple office hours a week would definitely be a smart move *one of my other professors had 4 a week, an hour after every lecture which was so helpful). Students most likely will need extra help when we don't have any face time with classes, so being there to give extra help is necessary." (undergraduate, linear circuit theory course)

"Offer similar opportunities to in person classes as much as possible (ability to discuss with others, discuss with TAs, attend office hours, etc.)." (undergraduate student, dynamics course)

Be more Flexible in Course Structure & Grading (8.2% of responses in emergency remote teaching and 1.2% of responses in traditional learning)

"Restructure quizzes and stuff. In we had a weekly quiz in lieu of midterms and a final, and that helped keep people engaged and paying attention." (undergraduate student, linear circuit theory course)

"Not providing traditional exams in online formats, or at least minimizing their effects on grades. It is extremely difficult for myself and many other students to concentrate and perform exams under these abnormal conditions, where the resources available to each student can vary and make the entire process very unbalanced." (undergraduate student, power systems course)

"Adjusting the grading scheme and course structure to best suit the online format (more frequent testing rather than large assessments, for example), would be helpful on the part of the professors." (undergraduate student, signals and systems course)

Provide Examples (4.5% of responses in emergency remote teaching and 11.4% of responses in traditional learning)

"Extra practice material is always the best. Extra optional homework problems. extra practice problems. Extra practice exams." (undergraduate student, linear circuit theory course)

"I think the only think that could help support me in my learning online is for them to provide more examples of the topic that we are currently on. This allows me to see how that topic is applied in different type of scenarios and prepare me on upcoming exams." (undergraduate student, dynamics course)

"Provide a lot of in class examples during lecture." (undergraduate student, dynamics course)
Shifts in Student Expectations

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Over half of student responses emphasized out-of-class behaviors in terms of what they valued most from faculty. Students want faculty to be available and responsive and provide plentiful supplemental resources (posted on LMS and other platforms) to support their learning outside of class. In emergency remote teaching, assessment rose to the top of many students' concerns, more so in providing flexibility in deadlines and grading structure rather than in terms of academic honesty exhibited during exams and other assessment activities.
The Importance of Caring and Understanding
In the results presented above, student responses that focused on a specific aspect of faculty support are emphasized in the presentation of data. Among students who responded in more general terms as to what they most desired from their faculty, many appealed to faculty (and TAs) to be more understanding of the struggles that students faced and express more care in their interactions with students:

"Be more understanding of the student's situation and understand that some student have really difficult learning in a stressed environment. Showing signs not understanding puts student at a situation that makes them very difficult to focus on the material at hand eventually become more stressed to perform. It becomes a downward cascade that spirals to poor performance." (undergraduate student, linear circuit theory course)

"Taking the time to listen to the students." (undergraduate student, introductory circuits course)

"Be understanding! Realize that being at home can be even more stressful of an environment than at school so the amount of work that should be expected should not be more than normal." (undergraduate student, computer aided design course)