Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

Fall 8-23-2022


Research attests that student success in engineering education is cultivated largely due to classroom environments, academic inclusion, and engagement in undergraduate research. It is further revealed that the social and academic fabric of the institution such as academic advising, peer tutoring, disability services, and outdoor recreational programs is essential towards fostering well-being, recruitment, retention, and student success. However, these studies were conducted in a period in which students experienced traditional face-to-face instruction. In the wake of COVID-19, most institutions responded by terminating in-person instruction, mandating to seek off-campus housing, and shifting to a fully remote context. As such, educators were challenged to reimagine and reconfigure course delivery for a period in which students were unable to utilize campus resources and engage in established educational campus practices. For the 2020-2021 academic year, a private university in Texas opted to operate a hybrid delivery format, which gave students the option of returning to campus and attend in-person instruction. In this research study, forty students enrolled in a Rigid Body Dynamics course were surveyed to explore their academic and/or personal experiences within in the context of this hybrid environment. The study sought to examine the differences experienced by students who attended in person instruction and those who participated in remote instruction. Eighty percent of the population attended in-person instruction and resided on or nearby campus, while twenty percent of the cohort remained fully online. The paper presents two student perspectives: 1) during the period in which courses were strictly delivered in a remote format, and 2) during the period in which students were afforded the opportunity to return to campus and partake in face-to-face instruction. Study findings revealed that remote instruction allowed students to be closer with family, however, it simultaneously generated distractions which hindered their ability to fully comprehend course material. For those students returning to campus, results indicate that less distractions were experienced, it was easier to pay attention, campus resources were utilized, and there was delight in engaging with people.


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