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COVID-19 Effects on Higher Education: A Case Study

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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

Engineering Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Boshra Karimi Northern Kentucky University

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Dr. Boshra Karimi is an Assistant Professor of Construction Management at Northern Kentucky University. She received the Ph.D. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering (Construction Management) from Oklahoma State University, the MSc degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from Sharif University of Technology, and the BSc degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Tehran. She has over 10 years of experience in teaching and research. Prior to joining NKU as an Assistant Professor, she worked as a visiting instructor in the School of International Studies and Outreach and as a teaching associate in the School of Construction Management Technology at Oklahoma State University. She has also worked as an instructor at Ershad Damavand University. In addition, she has over 14 years of experience in industry. Her research interests include sustainable project management, sustainability assessment, sustainable technology implementation, supply chain management, decision-making modeling, and big data application in construction. Her research has been published in several peer reviewed journals and presented at international conferences. Dr. Karimi has received numerous awards and recognitions including “ Summer Fellowship Award” in 2019 and 2020, “Robberson Summer Research and Creative Activity Fellowship” in 2017, “Calvin & Marilyn Vogt Endowed Scholarship” in 2016, “Outstanding Teaching Performance Award” in 2014 & 2015, and “Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) Scholarship” in 2014.

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Mahdi Yazdanpour Northern Kentucky University

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Dr. Mahdi Yazdanpour is an Assistant Professor of Mechatronics Engineering Technology at Northern Kentucky University. He is also the advisor of the Norse Robotics Club (NRC) and IEEE student chapter at NKU.
Dr. Yazdanpour received the PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from Oklahoma State University, the MSc degree in Industrial Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), and the BSc degree in Computer Engineering from Qazvin Azad University.
He has over 11 years of experience in manufacturing industry. He has worked as a Process Quality Manager, Planning & Quality Systems Manager, Production Planning & Control Manager, and Material Control Supervisor at MAPNA and NeyrePerse industrial groups.
His research interests include Intelligent Mechatronic Systems, Medical Robotics, Companion Robots, Brain-Controlled Robots, Computer Vision, 3D Scene Reconstruction, and Machine Vision. His current research is focused on designing and implementation of the gesture and mind-controlled robotic systems.
His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences. Dr. Yazdanpour has received numerous awards and recognitions including “The Best Paper Award in 15th IEEE Workshop on PBVS in conjunction with CVPR” in 2019, “CEAT Dean’s Outstanding ECE Graduate Student Award” in 2018, “The FGSH Research Award” in 2017, “Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (CIE) Scholarship” in 2017, “CEAT Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award” in 2016, and “Calvin & Marilyn Vogt Endowed Scholarship Award” in 2016.

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Phil Lewis Texas A&M University

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Dr. Lewis is an Associate Professor and Associate Department Head in the Department of Construction Science as Texas A&M University. He also serves as the Graduate Program coordinator for the Department. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in construction management. His primary research focus area is the economic, environmental, and energy impacts of construction.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected higher education across the country. Many colleges and universities responded swiftly to this outbreak by moving to remote learning in order to cope with the pandemic. The responses varied in different education systems at national and international levels, but a commonality can be found between the most institutions worldwide: transitioning delivery mode from face-to-face teaching to remote learning approaches using online platforms. Although this new remote teaching format was different from classic online pedagogy in many cases, it was the beginning of a new era in higher education to establish or expand the necessary infrastructure for online education.

Unfortunately, many college students encountered some difficulties due to this fast transition in addition to facing personal challenges such as unexpected job loss, restricted social activities, and mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, etc. Studies show that psychological distress and symptoms of mental illness in college students have been dramatically increased due to social isolation result of campus closure since the pandemic started.

In this research, we conducted two surveys to evaluate how students have been impacted by the outbreak. The intended outcome of our research is to prepare a better plan to mitigate the effects of pandemic on students’ educational experience and performance. This study measures different aspects of college students’ demands such as satisfaction with their classes, connectedness to the university, learning requirements, and technology resources. Furthermore, a Chi-Square test was deployed to compare these impacts on students in terms of gender and personality. The finding of these surveys demonstrate that the pandemic had greater mental impact on female students, however introverted and extroverted students have expressed similar experience. In addition, this research shows that all academic levels have been impacted by the pandemic to some extent.

Karimi, B., & Yazdanpour, M., & Lewis, P. (2021, July), COVID-19 Effects on Higher Education: A Case Study Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36857

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