Paper Summary

Direct link:

Zooming In on Robotics: When COVID-19 Forces a Preservice Teacher's Collaborative Lesson to Go Virtual

Sat, April 10, 10:40am to 12:10pm EDT (10:40am to 12:10pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Technology as an Agent of Change in Teaching and Learning Paper and Symposium Sessions


The COVID-19 induced school shutdown dramatically decreased students’ hands-on STEM learning opportunities. An NSF-funded program partnering preservice teachers (PSTs) and undergraduate engineering students to teach robotics to fifth graders was adapted to a virtual format via Zoom. A case study intimately explored the experience of one, typical team participating in a five-week collaborative lesson designing and building bio-inspired robots. Zoom recordings, written reflections, and lesson slides were analyzed to describe how the virtual context shaped the lesson and participants’ experience. The virtual context increased the PST’s sense of autonomy, and positively influenced her competence and confidence. Despite technical challenges, the positive results, including the PST’s opportunity to develop a new essential skill–teaching online via Zoom–suggest the approach is worth repeating.