Teaching interrupted: How covid-19 turned thoughts into practice

Megan Deutschman, Rose Hyson, Laura C Seithers, Murray Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Community College Anatomy and Physiology Education Research (CAPER) project is a 2-year grant that provides a variety of professional development opportunities to community college instructors of Anatomy and Physiology in the United States. Instructors who participate in the CAPER project also take part in a larger research study that uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to track the instructors' progress with adapting new teaching methods into their classrooms. When the COVID-19 pandemic caused global disruption to daily life, there were two cohorts of community college instructors participating in the CAPER project. While the immediate impact of the pandemic on community college instructors was not the subject of the original research project, the data from 12 in-depth interviews conducted in the midst of the pandemic revealed rich insights into teacher beliefs and attitudes, adaptation methods, and online learning as an opportunity for change during a global pandemic. This subset of the data also speaks to the importance of the CAPER project for professional development, as community college instructors in the CAPER program used their new skills to integrate active learning techniques in the online learning environment. In this article, we analyze community college instructors' adaptations to online learning through the lens of conceptual change theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biology Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the National Science Foundation (award number 1829157) for funding the CAPER project. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Funding Information:
An interrupted research project is typically seen as undesirable; however, research that was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic is now a source of new knowledge, a place to examine how this pandemic is impacting all facets of daily human life. One example of research interrupted is the Community College Anatomy and Physiology Education Research (CAPER) project which ran from fall 2018 through spring 2020 and was funded by a 2-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. The purpose of CAPER was to provide community college (CC) instructors across the United States with the opportunity to learn about, carry out, and evaluate evidence-based instructional practices (EBIPs) through an educational research project in order to increase instructor use of student-centered methods in their classrooms. While CC instructors were participating in professional development programming, members of the CAPER team collected quantitative and qualitative data on the CC instructors’ beliefs about teaching, their integration of EBIPs into the classroom, and their students’ experiences with anxiety in relation to different teaching methods.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Author(s).

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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