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Institutional Supports for Student Experiential Learning in Hybrid/Remote Learning Contexts

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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

Studies of Shifting In-person Courses to Online and Students' Online Behavior

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Beata Johnson Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Beata Johnson is an Engineering Education Ph.D. student at Purdue University and recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. She received her BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University. Her research interests include extracurricular and experiential learning in engineering education, students' pathways through engineering education, and transition to the workforce.

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Andrew Whitehead Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Andrew Whitehead is a Ph.D student at Purdue University's School of Engineering Education. His research interests includes diversity, equity, and inclusion and empathy within the engineering pedagogy.

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Joyce B. Main Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Joyce B. Main is Associate Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She received an Ed.M. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. degree in Learning, Teaching, and Social Policy from Cornell University. Dr. Main examines student academic pathways and transitions to the workforce in science and engineering. She was a recipient of the 2014 American Society for Engineering Education Educational Research and Methods Division Apprentice Faculty Award, the 2015 Frontiers in Education Faculty Fellow Award, and the 2019 Betty Vetter Award for Research from WEPAN. In 2017, Dr. Main received a National Science Foundation CAREER award to examine the longitudinal career pathways of engineering PhDs.

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Student organization involvement provides students many benefits, including mentorship and support networks, opportunities for career exploration and professional development, sense of belonging and community (Banda & Flowers III, 2017; Kovalchuk et al., 2017; Mayhew et al., 2016; Vetter et al., 2019). As universities have been adapting learning experiences to remote and hybrid formats amidst the global pandemic, student organization leaders and support staff have also needed to adjust their programming and events to new formats that accommodate social distancing guidelines, in-person event capacity limits, and remote participants. This study seeks to help inform ongoing efforts to provide engineering students continued hybrid and remote experiential learning opportunities. This study will capture how student affairs professionals at Purdue have been adjusting their current programming and engagement efforts to maintain key elements of experiential learning in a hybrid and remote learning context. This study investigates the following research questions: RQ1: How are student organizations and university student services adapting to support student extracurricular involvement? RQ2: What key aspects of student involvement do student affairs professionals seek to maintain for engineering students in their virtual and hybrid participation? Through thematic analysis of interviews with 15 student affairs professionals (including student organization support staff, student organization advisors, professional practice staff, and res hall advisors and staff), this study provides further insight into the challenges and creative opportunities presented in adapting experiential learning to hybrid and remote learning contexts. This study further identifies key elements of experiential learning that student affairs professionals seek to maintain for students in this hybrid format. This study builds on previous work examining engineering students’ experiences in student organizations and mechanisms by which they benefit from these experiences. Previous findings have highlighted students’ motivations and expectations in joining student organizations. Peer interaction and career exploration opportunities are key components of this involvement (Dugan, 2013; Vetter et al., 2019; Brown, 2004; Smith & Gayles, 2017). This study builds on these findings to explore how universities can best support students in continuing to engage in these influential experiences. Students’ experiences in out-of-class activities encompass a significant part of their time as undergraduates (National Survey of Student Engagement, 2018), and it is important for educators to understand how students engage in these experiences in current learning contexts. Findings from this study could inform current practitioners and student organizations as they adapt their practices to hybrid and remote learning contexts.

Johnson, B., & Whitehead, A., & Main, J. B. (2021, July), Institutional Supports for Student Experiential Learning in Hybrid/Remote Learning Contexts Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37349

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