Asee peer logo

Implementing Digital Learning to Enhance Post-Pandemic Civil Engineering Teaching

Download Paper |


2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

Civil Engineering Division - The New Normal: Enduring Technology Improvements in the Classroom

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Amanda Bao Rochester Institute of Technology (CET)

visit author page

Amanda Bao is an Associate Professor and Program Director in Civil Engineering Technology at Rochester Institute of Technology. She got her Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA, in 2006. Dr. Bao started teaching at Rochester Institute of Technology in 2010 and she regularly teaches structural engineering courses. Prior to RIT, she worked as a bridge structural engineer at Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. and Michael Baker International, Inc. in Denver, Colorado, and she is a licensed professional engineer in Colorado and New York, USA. Dr. Amanda Bao won the 2021 Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching at RIT. Dr. Bao has been actively involved in engineering education research since 2011, including digital learning, active learning and intensive collaboration with industry. Dr. Bao develops a teaching website: and opens a YouTube Structural Design Teaching channel to post screencasts to supplement traditional lecture-type classes, and she also created hands-on active learning modules to improve teaching and learning effectiveness. In addition to education research, Dr. Bao conducts research in the areas of bridge resiliency and sustainability, innovative construction materials and evaluation of aging infrastructure. She has extensive research experience in finite element modeling and lab testing of structures and published more than 20 research papers. She is an active member in ASEE, ASCE and AISC.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Civil engineering education needs to be adapted to accommodate the technological innovations and promote a culture of innovation. Future civil engineers should learn new knowledge and skill to use the emerging technologies, such as online learning tools, smart devices, remote control technology and so on. Current research suggests that replacing the traditional lecture-type instruction with interactive technological tools may enhance students’ learning. The rapid transition to online learning during the COVID-19 lockdown triggered a boost of technology adoption among higher education instructors. For more than two years into the pandemic, the effect of digital learning on higher education has been remarkably profound. We are going through a change that has not happened for decades in traditional classrooms and a new digital world is forming. The pandemic has dramatically accelerated the adoption of digitized learning modes, such as live-streaming videos, recorded videos, video conferences, screen sharing, 3D graphics, online chatting, cloud file storage and transfer. Both instructors and students are getting used to technology adoption in the classroom instruction. The advantages of technology use in teaching, such as time flexibility, accessibility and convenience, are evident. As we expect a light at the end of tunnel for the pandemic, it is of tremendous interest to know how digital learning will impact post-pandemic classroom instruction.

In this paper, the effect of digital learning on civil engineering classroom instructions during the pandemic time are studied, and surveys were conducted in three civil engineering courses over the four consecutive semesters from Spring 2020 to Fall 2021, and the quantitative survey results are analyzed and compared. Effective strategies to improve the post-pandemic civil engineering classroom instructions are proposed according to the survey results and classroom observations. The digital learning approaches are proven very effective and preferred by the students and the instructors to supplement the in-person lectures.

Bao, A. (2022, August), Implementing Digital Learning to Enhance Post-Pandemic Civil Engineering Teaching Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. 10.18260/1-2--41197

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: © 2022 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