Asee peer logo

Activating and Engaging Students in Online Asynchronous Classes

Download Paper |


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

Engaging the Online Classroom

Tagged Division


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Nicolas Ali Libre Missouri University of Science and Technology

visit author page

Nicolas Ali Libre, PhD, is an assistant teaching professor of Civil Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. He received his BS (2001), MS (2003) and PhD (2009) in civil engineering with emphasis in structural engineering, from University of Tehran, Iran. His research interests and experiences are in the field of computational mechanics, cement-based composite materials as well as innovative teaching techniques.
Dr. Libre is the manager of Materials Testing lab at Missouri S&T, teaches mechanics of materials and develops digital educational resources for the engineering students. He had the opportunity of leading several scientific and industrial research projects and mentoring graduate and undergraduate students. Over the span of his career, Dr. Libre authored and co-authored 3 chapter books, 17 peer-reviewed journal articles and over 60 conference papers. He has advised and co-advised 8 graduate students and mentored over 30 undergraduate students. He has collaborated with scholars from several countries, including Iran, China, Slovenia, Canada, and the US. He also served as a reviewer for 6 journals and a committee member of 5 conferences. He is the recipient of the University of Missouri President Award for Innovative Teaching (2018), the Teaching with Technology Award in the Focus on Teaching and technology conference (2018), Joseph H Senne Jr. Academy of Civil Engineering Faculty Teaching and Service Achievement Award (2017) and the Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Society of Leadership and Success (2016).

visit author page

Download Paper |


During the recent pandemic many instructors had to rapidly transform their in-person classes and adapt with the online teaching environment. This transition from in-person to online teaching modality raised challenges for both instructors and students. The lack of interactions either between instructors and students or between students themselves was reported to impact the quality of student learning experience and knowledge acquisition in online courses. This paper studies a discussion-based learning tool specifically designed for online asynchronous classes to promote student engagement and facilitate interactions. The developed online discussion platform served as an engagement tool with the purpose of initiating a multimodal communication hub for a diverse group of students located in different geographical locations and time zones. The preliminary measurements of the learning outcomes indicated the effectiveness of using such educational tools to close the learning gap between online and in-person classes. In addition a survey conducted to study the mediators that both contribute to and inhibit students participation in the online discussion. The strategies and tools discussed in this study could be inspiring for instructors as to how they may repurpose the available resources and learning tools to maximize their instructional practice.

Libre, N. A. (2021, July), Activating and Engaging Students in Online Asynchronous Classes Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36643

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015