Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Piña, M. A., & Hilliger, I., & Baier, J. A., & Melian, C., & Ruz, C., & González, T. A. (2021, July), A Protocol to Follow-up with Students in Large-enrollment Courses Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2–36603 (2021)

A Protocol to Follow-up with Students in Large-enrollment Courses

Revista : ASEE Peer
Tipo de publicación : Conferencia No DCC Ir a publicación


In response to the covid-19 health crisis, many higher education institutions quickly moved to online education. As a result of that sudden switch, students faced unexpected difficulties, such as lack of a good quality internet connection, adequate equipment, and a good study environment. Additionally, several of them dealt with the effects of health and emotional situations faced by themselves or family members. Aware of those additional difficulties, some institutions promoted a flexible approach, suggesting teachers to increase communication with their students and make the necessary modifications to course evaluations and deadlines.Teachers willing to approach their teaching in a more flexible manner need to make themselves aware of the needs of their students. In engineering massive courses, where student-teacher communication is usually burdened, gaining such an awareness is particularly difficult, requiring students to initiate communication. Unfortunately, in remote online settings, which may exacerbate social isolation, students may have less inclination to communicate with their teachers.This work-in-progress paper describes a case of study in which we describe and evaluate a protocol designed to actively engage in communication with students either with lower-than-average academic performance or with missing/late assignments. Using soothing language, a member of the teaching staff contacts students (or replies to a request from a student), attempts to establish the causes of the low academic performance and proposes specific actions to be taken in response to students’ needs. The protocol was implemented in an advanced programming course during the second term (Fall) of 2020, at a large school of engineering in Latin America. To evaluate the student’s perceptions of this approach, we collect data from several sources, including general-purpose student evaluations and questionnaires designed to specifically evaluate the perceptions of this approach. By analyzing different sources of data, we aimed to identify advantages and opportunities for improvement and scaling this approach at a school level. Among the most important contributions, even though our protocol was designed and implemented during the pandemic, it could also be implemented face-to-face or with online systems.