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Redesign of a Large Statics Course for Neurodiverse Students in the Distance Learning Environment

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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

Development Around Diversity

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Shinae Jang P.E. University of Connecticut Orcid 16x16

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Prof. Shinae Jang is Associate Professor in Residence and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Connecticut (UConn). She joined UConn in 2010 after receiving her B.S. and M.S. from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Prof. Jang’s research interests include smart structures, structural health monitoring, wireless sensor networks, and engineering education. At UConn, she has taught 9 undergraduate courses and 2 graduate courses, including a new graduate course she developed based on her research in structural health monitoring and sensors. Prof. Jang is the recipient of the 2021 Distinguished Engineering Educator award from UConn, and the 2018 Civil Engineering Educator of the Year award from the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers. She has served as the faculty advisor of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) UConn Chapter since 2012.

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One of the first large courses that engineering students encounter is Statics, which teaches various foundation topics and rigorous assessment schemes. Statics is an important course in that it gives the student the necessary foundation to further succeed in their education and careers. Re-designs of the Statics course have been proposed to accommodate neurodiverse students, with the prospect that increasing diversity and promoting creative problem-solving skills has the potential to be beneficial for the Civil Engineering (CE) profession. The objective of this paper is to report a re-design procedure of the Statics course to accommodate neurodiverse students and improve interpersonal rapport in the online distance learning environment, while maintaining academic effectiveness. The procedure includes implementing seven universal design of instructions (UDI) principles in an online distance learning modality. In Fall 2020, two Statics course sections were taught; one was the experimental group using the UDI components, and the other section was the control group. A formative evaluation regarding the UDI implementation has been conducted for the experimental group. For both sections, the summative students’ evaluations of teaching were conducted at the end of the semester, and the results from these two sections were compared. The final goal of the re-design is to create a diverse and inclusive Statics course to accommodate neurodiverse students as well as all students with different learning styles and disabilities.

Jang, S. (2021, July), Redesign of a Large Statics Course for Neurodiverse Students in the Distance Learning Environment Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37644

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