Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Industrial Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Kapil Chalil Madathil

Committee Member

Dr. Sudeep Hegde

Committee Member

Dr. Shubham Agrawal


The COVID-19 pandemic forced institutions of higher education (IHEs) to halt in-person classes and transition to online platforms. Given the intricate process of adapting hands-on experiments to the online environment, this transition seemed particularly challenging for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM) labs. The abrupt nature of this transition added to the difficulties, given that the IHEs were inadequately prepared for seamless continuity during the pandemic. In the first phase of this project, a literature review was conducted to understand the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on education. Specifically, the review explored the challenges that institutions of higher education faced, including technology and internet issues, workload constraints, maintaining academic integrity, and ensuring a comprehensive lab experience. The review also indicated that student learning outcomes were consistent between in-person and online labs. Instructors and students provided the most favorable responses for online labs incorporating video recordings and simulations within a synchronous platform. This approach was favored because it fostered more substantial and engaging interactions. These meaningful interactions incorporated frequent live engagement with instructors during synchronous sessions. Video recordings were praised for providing a clearer perception of scientific concepts, while simulations enabled students to conduct experiments virtually.

In the second phase, a standardized process was formulated based on the human-centered design framework to develop online labs, aiming to mitigate the challenges of creating a comprehensive online laboratory experience and facilitating a smoother transition to online platforms. This approach aids instructors in tailoring online courses to their specific needs and demands, moving beyond solely relying on existing simulation platforms or open resources. It results in a more customized approach that aligns with distinct courses and specific educational requirements.

In the third phase of this thesis, we adapted the fluid lines and fitting laboratory used for aviation maintenance technician training for online instruction using the process developed in the second phase. It included short video lectures, assessments, video demonstrations, and Virtual Reality (VR) simulations. This study aims to address the research gap in understanding which instructional strategy, video demonstrations, or virtual reality simulations are more effective for teaching procedural labs, especially in highly technical fields such as fluid lines and fitting fabrication for aviation maintenance. The study employed a between-subjects research design, wherein participants were assigned randomly to different instructional modes, video demonstrations, or VR simulations. Video lectures were common to both groups. The participants had to fabricate the fluid line based on the training received. The dependent variables were learning gains, task performance, perceived workload, and perceived usability.



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