July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Design in Engineering Education
Liberal arts universities and colleges aim to provide students with an education in problem-solving skills, critical thinking ability, and communication tools. With more liberal arts institutes started to have engineering programs, it is important to understand and evaluate the impacts of engineering curriculum in liberal arts settings on students, faculty, and the programs. Thus, this manuscript examines an introductory engineering design course that aims to enhance the engineering design and engineering disciplines for first-year students in liberal arts universities. Specifically, we examined what learning objectives in this course motivated students. More importantly, the study explored whether these motivations aligned with teacher’s perceptions of motivation, and how these motivations varied based on student demographics. The course is designed as a highly interactive seminar-style course that explores all aspects of the engineering profession, including engineering disciplines, education, creativity and design process, and engineers’ professional and ethical responsibilities. Students here implement the engineering design process to develop prototypes that solve complex engineering problems, as well as presentations and intensive technical writing. We conducted comparative surveys of teachers and students at a medium-sized liberal arts university in the Midwestern U.S. The results showed that solving real-life problems and teamwork skills are the strongest motivators for students. These findings aligned with teachers’ perceptions of what motivated their students in this course. Furthermore, we found some interesting differences in some of the motivations based on gender, race, and student GPA. We hope our results inform more effective design in first-year engineering design courses in liberal arts universities and further improve student retention and graduation rates.
Wang, X., & Dai, M., & Cataloni, G. (2021, July), A Comparative Analysis of Teacher and Student Perceptions of Sources of Motivation in Freshman Engineering Design Courses at Liberal Arts Universities Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36565
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015