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2022 Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity, CoNECD 2022 ; 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2011812


Developing and implementing programming for pre-college and undergraduate racially and ethnically diverse (RED) students and faculty is an integral part of higher education, as it provides experiences and educational enrichment not often found in classrooms. For many practitioners, developing such programs includes tasks such as contacting speakers, securing classrooms, and arranging interactive activities to ensure a great student experience. Not on the task list: "hosting a virtual program in case of a global pandemic." As news circulated regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, schools and universities around the world took drastic measures to curtail the spread of the virus. Nearly 1,100 colleges and universities in the United States closed their campuses with only days' notice to faculty, staff, and students. COVID-19 caused the cancellation of in-person events and programs, while others quickly transitioned online. The transition online was not only a challenge to the program participants, but also to the practitioners implementing virtual educational programs. Many variables had to be considered to deliver impactful virtual instruction, such as applicable technology, accessibility, and the use of live or pre-recorded content. Moreover, creating equitable and impactful virtual programming that served racial, ethnic, and linguistically diverse individuals required the use of unique programming methods and techniques. © 2022 American Society for Engineering Education.

Lecture Notes in Educational Technology ; : 395-420, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1899073


Technological advancement has enabled the migration of the education arena to an online mode as the ‘new normal’ ever since COVID-19 swept the world over. To engage students outside the classroom, we devised different technology-enhanced interactive activities in a database subject. Supplementing the online classes, flipped classrooms were arranged so that students could have more in-depth reviews. While live presentations became impossible during the pandemic time, video assignments were used as a replacement. Students were asked to submit the initial version, which their peers would view and comment on. After receiving the peers’ constructive feedback, students submitted a revised version by incorporating their peers’ comments. Furthermore, an online SQL Challenge Game was established where students could challenge their peers by answering SQL questions. With the adoption of these activities, students were engaged out of class. The results showed that their communication skills and academic performance were enhanced. © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1696235


High school students have limited exposure to engineering education, especially civil engineering. To fill this knowledge gap, the authors' offered a new college-level, civil engineering course to high school students. Initial course planning anticipated an on-campus environment with a focus on hands-on learning. Due to COVID-19 and the university system's response, the course shifted to an online platform. In this new setting, the course incorporated both synchronous and asynchronous modules with 18 students from geographical locations spanning 11 time zones. The students had diverse prior exposure to civil engineering, virtual learning environments, and active learning techniques. This paper evaluates the new program's effectiveness in increasing students' interest in civil engineering. Also, the paper shares detailed practical techniques that can be implemented to design (or redesign) courses intended to represent both a rigorous college class and foster interest in engineering. The effectiveness of this course is evaluated based on student engagement with online content, student evaluations, and comparison of pre- and post-class surveys. Student engagement was measured by class participation, on-time assignment submission, and time spent engaging with online materials. To get students' perspectives on course content, delivery method, and teaching techniques, class evaluations were administered to all students at the end of the course. Pre- and post-class surveys asked students uniform questions related to their definition of civil engineering, description of core class principles, and the university. The authors found that students appreciate group work, interactive activities, and opportunities to research and report on complex topics. Specific active learning techniques including split room debates, think-pair-share activities, and using novel software for real-time polling were mentioned by learners as especially meaningful. From the instructors' perspective, the success of these virtual interactive activities is predicated on learner buy-in. Initial ideas developed for in-person instruction were largely abandoned, and alternative approaches were used to leverage the assets and limit the drawbacks of an online environment. Some techniques used were issuing online polling solutions to encourage participation and putting learners in permanent groups to help combat feelings of isolation. Altogether, these techniques led learners to engage with civil engineering topics, fostering interest and growing their knowledge of the topic, while meeting the required rigor of the university classroom. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2021