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Using Social Media to Improve Minority Students' Skills When Connecting Courses with Different Educational Modalities

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

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Paper Authors


Mohamed ElZomor Florida International University

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Dr. Mohamed ElZomor is an Assistant Professor at Florida International University (FIU), College of Engineering and Computing and teaches at the Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability. Dr. ElZomor completed his doctorate at Arizona State University (ASU), Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Prior to attending ASU, Dr. ElZomor received a master’s of science degree in Architecture from University of Arizona, a master’s degree in Engineering and a bachelor of science in Construction Engineering from American University in Cairo. Dr. ElZomor moved to FIU from State University of New York, where he was an Assistant Professor at the college of Environmental Science and Forestry. Mohamed’s work focuses on Sustainability of the Built Environment, Engineering Education, Construction Engineering, Energy Efficiency Measures and Modeling, Project Management, and Infrastructure Resilience. Dr. ElZomor has extensive professional project management experience as well as a diverse cross-disciplinary academic knowledge. Mohamed, distinct expertise supports fostering interdisciplinary research in addition to embracing innovative pedagogical approaches in STEM education. Dr. ElZomor has been integrating innovative and novel educational paradigms in STEM education to support student engagement, retention, and diversity.

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Piyush Pradhananga

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Piyush Pradhananga is a Ph.D. student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Florida International University (FIU). Piyush holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Tribhuwan University (TU). Following his graduation in 2016, he joined a leading real estate corporation in Nepal as the site engineer working on a multi-million project. He later joined a research firm based in London where he worked as an Engineering Graduate Researcher. Piyush is currently a Graduate Research Assistant at the Moss School of Construction, Sustainability, and Infrastructure at FIU where he focuses on multidisciplinary research that harmonizes sustainability in construction. His other research interests include Sustainable Construction, Construction Safety, Engineering Education, Green Building, and Energy Efficiency Measures.

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Arif Mohaimin Sadri Florida International University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Arif Mohaimin Sadri is an Assistant Professor in the Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability (MSCIS) at the Florida International University (FIU). Previously he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and an Adjunct Professor in the Civil Engineering Dept. at the Valparaiso University. Dr. Sadri received his doctoral training from the Lyles School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University with a solid background in Civil Engineering (Transportation), Network Science, and Social Science. Dr. Sadri specializes in resilience engineering, evacuation modeling, shared mobility, social influence modeling, machine learning, agent-based modeling, and network modeling. Dr. Sadri's research focuses on the critical interdependence between social and infrastructure networks and integrates human proactive decision-making components into the civil infrastructure management challenges. Dr. Sadri develops human-centered and network-driven techniques that complement to the science of infrastructure resilience and sustainability.

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This study evaluates the integration of Social Media (S.M.) platforms as an informal pedagogical tool to support STEM learning by fostering engagement and increasing interactional competence and collaborative skills. Construction engineering education has been plagued with low engagement levels partially due to its timeworn pedagogical means and ineffective use of technology. S.M. platforms are convenient and effective informal educational means that encourage engagement and interactions between peers. Nowadays, construction programs are shifting to online education, and this research is geared to understand the interactions between student bodies within different instructional modalities. This study focuses on the successes of the second-year implementation of integrating S.M. in a Construction Management (CM) program in a minority serving institution. The implementation consisted of periodically collecting student feedback to (1) evaluate students' interactional competency skills and confidence in collaborative skills and; (2) describe how S.M. can be utilized to submit course deliverables, which in turn increases minority students' skills, engagement, and interactions. The novel contribution of this research is to study the effectiveness and student engagement level when integrating S.M. in different CM courses (Sustainability, Construction methods/materials, Automation in Construction) with various instructional modalities (fully online, Face-to-Face, and hybrid). This research initiative presents paired t-test and box plots paired with line plots from pre and post-course surveys of 75 students. Finally, this paper highlights the challenges and lessons learned along with recommendations for transferring this pedagogy to other institutions.

ElZomor, M., & Pradhananga, P., & Sadri, A. M. (2020, June), Using Social Media to Improve Minority Students' Skills When Connecting Courses with Different Educational Modalities Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35472

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