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Title: Strategies to Address Changes in Social Supports during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The pandemic of COVID-19 is disrupting engineering education globally, at all levels of education.While distance education is nothing new, the pandemic of COVID-19 forced instructors to rapidly move their courses online whether or not they had ever received prior training in online education. In particular, there is very little literature to guide instructors in supporting students in online engineering design or project-based courses. The purpose of this research is to examine engineering students’ report of social support in their project and design-based courses at a large research university during the move to online instruction due to COVID-19in the Spring 2020 semester and to provide recommendations for instructors teaching these types of courses online in the future.Our study is framed by social constructivism and social capital theory.We surveyed undergraduate engineering and engineering technology students(n=235) across undergraduate levels during the final week of the Spring 2019 semester.Survey questions included open-ended prompts about social supports and overall experience with the transition to online learning as well as name and resource generator questions focused on specific people and types of interactions that changed during the pandemic. We used qualitative content analysis of the open-ended responses along with comparisons of the name and resource generator to develop recommendations for instructors.Recommendations to increase students’ social supports include:facilitating informal conversations between students and between students and the instructional team, grouping students located in the same time zones in teams, facilitating co-working sessions for students, establishing weekly structure, and utilizing some synchronous components (e.g., virtual office hours).  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2030083
NSF-PAR ID:
10335046
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
American Society for Engineering Education 2021 Annual Conference and Exposition
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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