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Strategies to Address Changes in Social Supports During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Engineering Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37735

Download Count

26

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Paper Authors

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Amanda Johnston Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5737-7798

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Dr. Johnston is a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University

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Kerrie A. Douglas Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-2693-5272

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Dr. Douglas is an Assistant Professor in the Purdue School of Engineering Education. Her research is focused on improving methods of assessment in engineering education contexts.

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Julie P. Martin Ohio State University

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Julie P. Martin, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and the Associate Department Chair for Graduate Studies and Research Infrastructure in the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University. She is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. Dr. Martin’s research focus is on methodological activism, the use of research methods to advocate for social change. She served as the Program Director for Engineering Education in the Directorate for Engineering, at the National Science Foundation (NSF) from 2017-2019. Since 2004, Dr. Martin has held a number of national leadership positions in the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN), having served in the latter organization as national president (2009-2010). She was inducted as a Fellow of ASEE in 2019.

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Taylor Short Ohio State University

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Taylor L. Short is a PhD student in Engineering Education at The Ohio State. She started her PhD in Fall 2020 after receiving both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. Before joining the engineering education department, her research focus was in power and energy systems.

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Abstract

The pandemic of COVID-19 is disrupting engineering education globally, at all levels of education. While distance education is nothing new, the pandemic of COVID-19 forced instructors to rapidly move their courses online whether or not they had ever received prior training in online education. In particular, there is very little literature to guide instructors in supporting students in online engineering design or project-based courses. The purpose of this research is to examine engineering students’ report of social support in their project and design-based courses at a large research university during the move to online instruction due to COVID-19 in the Spring 2020 semester and to provide recommendations for instructors teaching these types of courses online in the future. Our study is framed by social constructivism and social capital theory. We surveyed undergraduate engineering and engineering technology students (n=235) across undergraduate levels during the final week of the Spring 2019 semester. Survey questions included open-ended prompts about social supports and overall experience with the transition to online learning as well as name and resource generator questions focused on specific people and types of interactions that changed during the pandemic. We used qualitative content analysis of the open-ended responses along with comparisons of the name and resource generator to develop recommendations for instructors. Recommendations to increase students’ social supports include: facilitating informal conversations between students and between students and the instructional team, grouping students located in the same time zones in teams, facilitating co-working sessions for students, establishing weekly structure, and utilizing some synchronous components (e.g., virtual office hours).

Johnston, A., & Douglas, K. A., & Martin, J. P., & Short, T. (2021, July), Strategies to Address Changes in Social Supports During the COVID-19 Pandemic Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37735

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