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A Longitudinal Study Exploring Motivation Factors in Cornerstone and Capstone Design Courses

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Teamwork and Student Learning in Design

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Elisabeth Kames Florida Institute of Technology

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Elisabeth Kames is a graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in automotive engineering. She graduated with her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in December 2016 and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in May 2015. Her research thrust is in engineering education focused on student motivation under the advisement of Dr. Beshoy Morkos.

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Devanshi Shah Florida Institute of Technology

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I am a graduate student pursuing M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology with specialization in Structures, Solid Mechanics and Materials. I graduated with B.E. in Mechanical Engineering in India in May 2016. My research is focused on Student's Motivation in Engineering under the advisement of Dr. Beshoy Morkos.

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Beshoy Morkos Florida Institute of Technology

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Beshoy Morkos is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology where he directs the STRIDE Lab (SysTems Research on Intelligent Design and Engineering). His engineering design research focuses on developing computational representation and reasoning support for managing complex system design. The goal of Dr. Morkos’ research is to fundamentally reframe our understanding and utilization of system representations and computational reasoning capabilities to support the development of system models which help engineers and project planners intelligently make informed decisions at earlier stages of engineering design. On the engineering education front, Dr. Morkos’ research explores means to integrate innovation and entrepreneurship in engineering education through entrepreneurially-minded learning, improve persistence in engineering, address challenges in senior design education, and promote engineering education in international teams and settings. Dr. Morkos’ research is currently supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN), and NASA JPL.
Dr. Morkos received his Ph.D. from Clemson University in the Clemson Engineering Design and Applications Research (CEDAR) lab under Dr. Joshua Summers. In 2014, he was awarded the ASME CIE Dissertation of the year award for his doctoral research. He graduated with his B.S. and M.S in Mechanical Engineering in 2006 and 2008 from Clemson University and has worked on multiple sponsored projects funded by partners such as NASA, Michelin, and BMW. His past work experience include working at the BMW Information Technology Research Center (ITRC) as a Research Associate and Robert Bosch Corporation as a Manufacturing Engineer. Dr. Morkos was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Engineering & Science Education at Clemson University performing NSF funded research on engineering student motivation and its effects on persistence and the use of advanced technology in engineering classroom environments. Dr. Morkos’ research thrust include: design automation, design representations, computational reasoning, systems modeling, engineering education, design education, collaborative design, and data/knowledge management.

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Design courses are an integral component of undergraduate engineering education. Design is recognized as one of the primary responsibilities of an engineer in industry. New designs are responsible for stimulating sales and company growth.1 This paper presents the findings of a four year longitudinal study on the impact of motivation factors on course performance of mechanical engineering students in design courses. The first design course, cornerstone design, takes place during the first semester of freshman year. The second course, capstone design, takes place during the student’s final year of undergraduate study. An adapted version of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) is used to measure five motivation factors: cognitive value, self-regulation, test/presentation anxiety, intrinsic value, and self-efficacy. Motivation is measured against the final grade in the course. The major contribution of this paper is the ability to examine the impact of motivation on grades in design courses. The motivation and performance is also measured with regard to student gender, residency (domestic or international), family income, and highest degree attained by parents to determine if a correlation is realized. Additionally, the study focuses on a single cohort of 32 students. This affords the ability for the examination of the differences in motivation between the students’ freshman and senior year to determine if this can be correlated to student gender, residency (domestic or international), family income, and degree attained by parents. The results of the study indicate that the student’s freshman cornerstone design grades are impacted by their freshman anxiety levels with significance, which was further exacerbated by the student’s residency. On the other hand, the senior capstone design grades were impacted by their intrinsic motivation. The change in their grade between their freshman and senior year was correlated to their freshman year anxiety and their residency, though the students exhibited similar levels of anxiety during their senior year.

Kames, E., & Shah, D., & Morkos, B. (2018, June), A Longitudinal Study Exploring Motivation Factors in Cornerstone and Capstone Design Courses Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29692

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