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Impact of Virtual Teaching and Learning in Engineering: A Study and Survey

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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 Physics and Physics Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Engineering Physics and Physics

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Paper Authors


Bala Maheswaran Northeastern University

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Bala Maheswaran, PhD
Northeastern University
367 Snell Engineering Center
Boston, MA 02115

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Haridas Kumarakuru Northeastern University

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Haridas Kumarakuru, PhD, MInstP
Department of Physics,
College of Science,
100 Forsyth street,
Boston, MA 02115

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Teaching engineering is always an interesting and changing adventure. Especially, the virtual hybrid form of teaching requires innovative approaches to increase the students’ motivation to learn fundamental engineering concepts. The basic concepts in engineering design are long-standing, for example, design process, problem-solving, graphics, modeling, prototyping, and importantly teamwork. The experiential and interactive learning is a key component to motivate students to understand the new concepts faster but also supports them to apply their skills for more practical results. The goal of this paper is to present the results of experimental teaching techniques used in the Hybrid NUflex1. This model was designed to deal with density restrictions and to provide flexibility to faculty and students. In the Hybrid Nuflex, either by choice or due to density restrictions, some portion of the students in each class will be remote and some will attend the class in person. The students were informed in advance by the university before the class whether they would be in-person or virtual for that class. Instructors teaching in-person cannot meet all the students’ in class at a given lecture and this creates a challenge for team activities mainly building product prototype. Teaching in the Hybrid format is an innovative venture and needs creative approaches to make it more effective.

Exploring new approaches for teaching in the NUflex format is an endless quest. For my part, I have introduced several interactive activities to build a team environment between in-person students and students participating online to make the learning more interactive and experiential. In this paper, I will show innovative experiential learning approaches and their outcomes. This includes sample student activities and exercises by mixing in-person and virtual participants. I will also present prototypical course requirements, such as team activities, project approach, project reports, designing, and building prototypes. This work will be beneficial to other educators to style their own experiential learning approaches in the Hybrid format.

This is a work in progress paper.

Maheswaran, B., & Kumarakuru, H. (2021, July), Impact of Virtual Teaching and Learning in Engineering: A Study and Survey Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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