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A Faculty Roundtable on Instructional Challenges during the Pandemic

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Experiences: Teaching in a Pandemic

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

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Paper Authors


Iftekhar Ibne Basith Sam Houston State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Iftekhar Ibne Basith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Technology at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, USA.
Dr. Basith has a Ph.D and Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Windsor, ON, Canada with concentration on 3D IC, MEMS and Testing.
Dr. Basith has published several IEEE transactions, articles and conference proceedings over the last few years. His research interest lies on Automation and Robotics, Testing of 3D IC, MEMS, Analog/ Mixed-Signal Devices, RF circuits, Low Power CMOS and Wireless Communication.

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Raisa Sara


ABM Rezbaul Islam Sam Houston State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. ABM Rezbaul Islam has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering. His research interest is focused on Machine Learning and Computer Vision. He has extensive experience in object detection in images with a variety of applications. He has published several research papers on machine learning-based method for image processing. His research works were funded by NIH and Mayo clinic, Minnesota. In this research, machine learning technique was used for human skin detection and also classify colonoscopy images into various classes based on severity that is widely used to detect colon cancer

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Khalid M. Khan Sam Houston State University

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Dr. Khan's multidisciplinary research encompasses a broad area of environmental epidemiology with specific emphasis on vulnerable populations including children and adolescents. His current research activities can be categorized into two major areas. He investigates the neurobehavioral (NB) health effects of environmental and occupational exposures as well as the mechanisms of action of neurotoxic contaminants. Furthermore, he evaluates the efficacy of community-based interventions for reducing health disparities in the areas of water, hygiene, infectious diseases, and occupational noise exposure. Over the last couple of decades, he has investigated neurobehavioral and mental health effects of metals, air pollutants and pesticides in children and adolescents in the United States, Egypt, Ecuador, and South Asian countries including India and Bangladesh. At present, he is examining early-life endocrine-disruption potential of environmental contaminants and concurrently exploring if such disruption has any adverse impact on brain development later in life. His current intervention research program is tracing suitable low-cost educational intervention for children, adolescents, and other vulnerable populations for minimizing chemical and microbiological exposures and infectious diseases.

In addition to his research, Dr. Khan teaches a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses in population health such as epidemiology, environmental health, and global health. He regularly publishes articles in peer-reviewed journals with both undergraduate and graduate students and presents his research activities in national and international conferences in the US and beyond including the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) annual conference.

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Rasheda Rasheda Sultana Sam Huston State University

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Dr. Rasheda Sultana has been at Sam Houston State University since 2020. She teaches a unique combination of classroom and laboratory-based courses and has more than 10 years of instructional experience in multiple disciplines of Health Sciences including public health, infectious and chronic diseases, microbiology, biochemistry and nutrition, and physiology. She serves as mentors to undergraduate and graduate research students and facilitates student-centered training and research programs by collaborating with health care facilities, industries, and other community health partners. She previously served as a Lecturer of the Biotechnology program at Indiana University Bloomington and Adjunct Lecturer of Biochemistry at the City College of New York. Dr. Sultana has reported molecular mechanisms associated with disease progressions in several peer-reviewed publications. Several undergraduates and graduate students of Dr. Sultana have been employed in large pharmaceutical industries and public health organizations.

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This article shares experiences from different disciplines at **** during the COVID-19 crisis. This pandemic hit us hard, posing enormous challenge on the educators as the majority were switching to virtual and hybrid modes of instructions by adjusting teaching methodology, lab strategies and even grading criteria. A series of roundtable discussions took place regarding course delivery experience of the authors of this paper. We believe, sharing our experience will benefit other educators and can help them adopt alternative instructional approaches in other institutions. The roundtable participants represented various disciplines such as Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Computer Science, Public Health, and Economics. After the spring break of 2020 the **** campus shifted to completely online teaching. Courses like Digital Electronics, Programmable Logic Controller, Engineering Statics, Material Handling and Plant Layout, Software Engineering, System Modeling and Simulation needed lab components. Public health courses such as Epidemiology and Environmental Health had exercises to provide hands on experiences to the students via case study discussions, simulation of primary data collection followed by analysis and field observations. Intermediate Business Analysis is a course designed to introduce the use of statistical analysis in business. As COVID-19 situation continued to evolve and get worse, the laboratory-based teaching was shifted into a digital environment. We used Amatrol’s web-based emulator for the PLC labs, video recorded labs for Engineering Statics, AutoCAD Architecture based plant layout in the course Material Handling and Plant Layout. In the Software Engineering, expected collaboration with small group members via weekly meetings and brainstorming sessions moved to online. In System Modeling and Simulation, course contents were changed to very detailed explanation for complex mathematical equations. The pandemic had other impacts that affected both instructors and students in their ability to deliver and absorb the course content respectively. While individuals with children struggled to cope up due to school and day care closures, individuals living alone suffered depression and anxiety due to limited in-person interactions as stay at home orders were instated. The struggle was exacerbated for students who were COVID positive themselves or those taking care of a family member who got infected. The pandemic also had major psychological impact on individuals in academia who lost their loved ones or became unemployed. Therefore, both students and instructors have not been able to perform with their full potential. The Fall semester saw drastic changes in course syllabus with more emphasis on virtual and hybrid modes of learning. The instructors needed to make sure social distancing is maintained, and at the same time the students can come in campus, whenever necessary only and complete the labs/seminars etc in person. Whenever possible, the instructors transformed face-to-face courses into fully online or hybrid courses with the help of technology. We hope our experiences from the Spring/Fall semester instructions will help other educators design online/hybrid delivery models in future.

Basith, I. I., & Sara, R., & Islam, A. R., & Khan, K. M., & Sultana, R. R. (2021, July), A Faculty Roundtable on Instructional Challenges during the Pandemic Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36578

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