Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Hilliger, I., & Melian, C., & Meza, J. F., & Cortés, G., & Baier, J. A. (2021, July), Work in Progress: A Cross-sectional Survey Study for Understanding and Addressing the Needs of Engineering Students During COVID-19 Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38115 (2021)

Work in Progress: A Cross-sectional Survey Study for Understanding and Addressing the Needs of Engineering Students During COVID-19

Revista : ASEE Peer
Tipo de publicación : Conferencia No DCC


In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many universities and colleges have closed their campus and implemented what researchers call ‘emergency online education’. This means that many faculty members are teaching in front of computer screens while students are staying at home and taking their courses remotely. Unfortunately, this leaves students without some advantages of residential education ? such as study spaces, face-to-face counseling, and recreational facilities. In the case of engineering students, this has also left them without access to maker spaces, laboratories, and field trips (among other activities that enrich their learning experience).For understanding how the consequences of this pandemic have affected students’ well-being, some researchers have implemented cross-sectional survey studies. These types of studies frequently used to measure stakeholders’ needs of support services as they relate to courses, programs or involvement in institutional planning. So far, there is a growing body of knowledge regarding factors that have affected students’ mental health, along with scales to measure students’ anxiety levels. However, the pandemic has come with confusing and changing information, making it more difficult for educational institutions to implement timely support strategies to maintaining some sense of well-being among their students. Given the close relationship between student well-being and learning outcomes, more studies are needed to not only understand factors that might negatively affect students’ learning experiences, but also examine interventions that might positively impact students’ resilience.This paper presents a Work-In-Progress (WIP) that was carried out in a large engineering school in Latin America. As many schools in many countries, this school shifted to online education during 2020. In order to monitor students’ needs in this remote learning context, a cross-sectional survey study was conducted to evaluate their use of different types of support interventions that have been implemented since the pandemic started. Specifically, this paper presents the perceived benefits of having implemented a mid-semester break of one week to reduce stress during the first academic period. During the week after the break, we applied an online anonymous survey to a convenience sample of 994 engineering students from different admission cohorts and majors. Findings not only reveal how many hours students declare that they spent studying, resting, and doing recreational activities during that break, but also the percentage of students that perceived that this break was beneficial to their overall well-being. Future work will focus on assessing other type of support interventions that were implemented throughout that year, besides providing recommendations to monitor and support engineering students in different educational settings.