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Adjustments Made in Students Delivery of Project Results in Undergraduate and Graduate Courses Due to Covid-19 Pandemic

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ASEE 2021 Gulf-Southwest Annual Conference


Waco, Texas

Publication Date

March 24, 2021

Start Date

March 24, 2021

End Date

March 26, 2021

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Amir Karimi P.E. The University of Texas at San Antonio

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Amir Karimi, University of Texas, San Antonio
Amir Karimi is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). He received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1982. His teaching and research interests are in thermal sciences. He has served as the Chair of Mechanical Engineering (1987 to 1992 and September 1998 to January of 2003), College of Engineering Associate Dean of Academic Affairs (Jan. 2003-April 2006), and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies (April 2006-September 2013). Dr. Karimi is a Fellow of ASEE, a Fellow of ASME, senior member of AIAA, and holds membership in ASHRAE, and Sigma Xi. He has served as the ASEE Campus Representative at UTSA, ASEE-GSW Section Campus Representative, and served as the Chair of ASEE Zone III (2005-07). He chaired the ASEE-GSW section during the 1996-97 academic year.

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In spring 2020, this instructor was teaching an upper division undergraduate thermodynamic course with high enrollment and a graduate course in the same subject with much lower enrolment. Typically, team projects had been assigned in both courses in the past. In the undergraduate course, students were assigned a complex design problem and were asked to work together in teams of four or five students to complete the projects. In the graduate course, teams of two or three students were formed to work on research projects. During the spring break, in March 2020, the university decided to switch from face to face instruction to virtual instruction due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The spring break was extended for one week in order for the faculty prepare for on-line instruction, and a few days were added to the end of semester. Social distancing was encouraged to prevent the spread of virus. This made it much more difficult for students to work together on team projects. Therefore, adjustments had to be made to the projects assigned in each course and the method of the delivery of the result by students. This paper describes the adjustment made to the assigned projects and the disadvantages it caused to the students’ educational experience. The paper will describe the lessons learned and recommends on how to make improvements for the future.

Karimi, A. (2021, March), Adjustments Made in Students Delivery of Project Results in Undergraduate and Graduate Courses Due to Covid-19 Pandemic Paper presented at ASEE 2021 Gulf-Southwest Annual Conference, Waco, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--36358

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