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Undergraduate Engineering Laboratories During COVID-19 Pandemic

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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

Adaptation of Laboratory-based Courses During a Pandemic: Experimentation and Laboratory-oriented Studies Division

Tagged Division

Experimentation and Laboratory-Oriented Studies

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Paper Authors


Maria Javaid Indiana State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Maria Javaid joined Indiana State University in August 2019 as Assistant Professor. Before coming to ISU she was Assistant Professor at Jacksonville University. She received her PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014, where she was nominated as an exemplary teaching assistant by her department for three consecutive years.

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Edie L. Wittenmyer Indiana State University

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Over 23 years, employed as an IT/Automation Engineer in the pharmaceutical industry and for the past ten years I have served as faculty member in the Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology department, Computer of Technology at Indiana State University. Currently, pursuing a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education.

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Oscar Henriquez Indiana State University


Larry D. Pritchett Indiana State University

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Instructor at Indiana State University, with former teaching experience at Lycoming College and Penn State University. Industry experience as I.T. Manager at Keystone Veneers, and Project Manager/Prototype Developer at Rose-Hulman Ventures and Structural Fibers Inc. Interests include software development and software engineering, networkng and security, and I.T. curriculum. M.S. Indiana State University, B.S. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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Engineering is a practical discipline. Therefore, laboratories have always been considered an integral part of engineering education particularly undergraduate engineering education. Laboratory experiments not only help students in understanding theoretical concepts, they also serve the purpose of teaching the required engineering hands-on skills. Laboratory experiments almost always involve groups of students working together under supervision of lab. instructor. Thus, students also learn teamwork through laboratory sessions. Recent Covid-19 pandemic has globally affected all activities which require social interaction. University experience is one of these effected areas and educators world-wide are devising innovative ways to minimize the impact of pandemic on student learning. The most popular approach is to move learning online. Online instructions are good for teaching theoretical knowledge. However, laboratory requires hands-on execution of experiments and simulations can replace the hands-on experiments only to a limited extend. Moreover, Laboratory sessions involve more social interaction as students work in groups, work on the shared laboratory equipment and interact one-to-one with lab. instructor. In this paper seven faculty members from a regional public university will explain about the adjustments they made to their laboratory courses in order to minimize the impact of pandemic on students learning. All faculty members teach courses related to Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology. This paper will identify which approaches are common among various courses and instructors and which are specific to a particular course. We will also observe the impact of these changes on students learning as indicated by their examination results. Some of the laboratory courses discussed in this paper are DC Circuits and Design, AC Circuits and Design, Introduction to Robotics and Automation, Programmable Logic Controllers and Control Systems, Industrial Electronic Current Control Systems, Technical Data Management and Applications, Digital Computer Circuits, and Practical Digital Logic Design.

Javaid, M., & Wittenmyer, E. L., & Henriquez, O., & Pritchett, L. D. (2021, July), Undergraduate Engineering Laboratories During COVID-19 Pandemic Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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