Asee peer logo

Investigating Students’ Expectations of Instruction in Engineering Laboratory Courses During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Download Paper |


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

Perspectives on Engineering Education During COVID-19

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Keven Alkhoury New Jersey Institute of Technology

visit author page

I am a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The focus of my research is on the continuum-level coupled multiphysics behavior of polymeric materials. During the last year, I was also interested in investigating the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the quality of education, which resulted in this publication.

visit author page


Ahmed Z. Edrees University of Jeddah & New Jersey Institute of Technology

visit author page

Ahmed Edrees is a PhD student at New Jersey Institute of Technology, specializing in Transportation Engineering. Ahmed has received his master’s in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2014. After, graduation Ahmed worked as a research assistant at Umm Al-Qura University in his hometown in Saudi Arabia. He also held a position as a teaching assistant and lecturer at the University of Jeddah. Ahmed plans to return as a faculty member at the University of Jeddah upon completion of his study.

visit author page


Jaskirat Sodhi New Jersey Institute of Technology

visit author page

Dr. Jaskirat Sodhi is interested in first-year engineering curriculum design and recruitment, retention and success of engineering students. He is the coordinator of ENGR101, an application-oriented course for engineering students placed in pre-calculus courses. He has also developed and co-teaches the Fundamentals of Engineering Design course that includes a wide spectra of activities to teach general engineering students the basics of engineering design using a hands-on approach which is also engaging and fun. He is an Institute for Teaching Excellence Fellow and the recipient of NJIT's 2018 Saul K. Fenster Innovation in Engineering Education Award.

visit author page


Ashish D. Borgaonkar New Jersey Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Ashish Borgaonkar works as Asst. Professor of Engineering Education at the New Jersey Institute of Technology's Newark College of Engineering located in Newark, New Jersey. He has developed and taught several engineering courses primarily in first-year engineering, civil and environmental engineering, and general engineering. He has won multiple awards for excellence in instruction; most recently the Saul K. Fenster Award for Innovation in Engineering Education. He also has worked on several research projects, programs, and initiatives to help students bridge the gap between high school and college as well as preparing students for the rigors of mathematics. His research interests include engineering education, integration of novel technologies into the engineering classroom, excellence in instruction, water, and wastewater treatment, civil engineering infrastructure, and transportation engineering.

visit author page

author page

Prateek Shekhar New Jersey Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16

Download Paper |


This full paper studies the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ expectations of instruction in laboratory based engineering courses. This pandemic has strongly disrupted the delivery of engineering curriculum. In particular, engineering lab courses were highly impacted by the forced transition to remote instruction modes. Some engineering lab courses rely heavily on engineering software and were comparatively easier to switch to a remote instruction mode. Whereas many other traditional, hands-on engineering labs needed to apply innovative solutions to effectively meet student learning outcomes in the remote instruction mode. Student expectations from such lab courses also changed with the changing college environment and as everyone got more accustomed to the long-standing impact of the pandemic. Understanding how students perceive lab courses in this new era will help in optimally designing learning modules to meet and exceed course expectations. Specifically, using self-reported surveys, students’ expectations of instruction in two laboratory courses are being examined. The two courses being studied are - 1. Introduction to Computer-Aided Design (CAD), which relies heavily on the use of CAD software, and 2. Hydraulics Laboratory, which is a more traditional, hands-on, experiential lab course.

Introduction to Computer-Aided Design is a senior level CAD course for mechanical engineering major students.This course serves as an introduction to CAD which is basically the use of the computer for creating and modeling a design. These concepts are taught using two software: Creo and SolidWorks. Hydraulic Laboratory course aims to test and validate the theoretical principles of fluid mechanics, water resources, and hydraulic engineering using physical lab experience. This course is a junior level course for civil engineering major students. The results of this study will identify effective strategies for designing instruction in software-based and hands-on laboratory courses when offered in a remote/hybrid mode. It will also help in understanding the key differences in effectiveness of instructional practices between Fall 2019 semester where the courses were offered in a face-to-face mode, Spring 2020 where the courses were offered partially face-to-face and partially in an asynchronous mode, and the current semester, where it is being offered in synchronous online mode. This study will help in planning the course better for future offerings, by using the best features from each mode.

Alkhoury, K., & Edrees, A. Z., & Sodhi, J., & Borgaonkar, A. D., & Shekhar, P. (2021, July), Investigating Students’ Expectations of Instruction in Engineering Laboratory Courses During the COVID-19 Pandemic Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37400

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: © 2021 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