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Algorithm For Defining Student Engagement

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

ERM Poster Session

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.165.1 - 13.165.7



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Paper Authors


Stacy Wilson Western Kentucky University

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Stacy Wilson is a Professor in the Electrical Engineering Program at Western Kentucky University. Her interests include control systems, system identification, assessment, gender equity issues and K-12 outreach.

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Dennis George Western Kentucky University

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john bruni Western Kentucky University


Mark Cambron Western Kentucky University

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Dr. Mark Cambron is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering in
the Department of Engineering at Western Kentucky University. He
received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of
Kentucky, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from
Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. He is a registered engineer
in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. His current research interest
include: engineering education, bio-sensing devices, machine vision,
robotics, learning systems, neural networks, and controls.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Algorithm for Defining Student Engagement Abstract

The mission of the Western Kentucky University Electrical Engineering Program is to produce graduates who have been engaged in a variety of project experiences throughout the curriculum. Several assessment measures have been employed to determine that the mission of the program had been achieved. An algorithm has been developed to design an engagement index for students by assigning point values to various engagement experiences. The scores of the index were compared to the assessment results to determine if the algorithm is an effective predictor of satisfying the program mission and ultimately ABET Criteria 3 A-K.


An emphasis of Western Kentucky University (WKU) is student engagement which is defined in a variety of ways by different groups across campus. The Department of Engineering at WKU houses three ABET accredited programs and has a mission of project-based engineering education. In the Department of Engineering, student engagement is achieved through project- based activities.

The Electrical Engineering (EE) Program is one of the three majors in the department. The mission of the EE program is to build a foundation of knowledge in electrical engineering by integrating a variety of project experiences at every level throughout the curriculum.1 The mission statement and desired qualities of graduates of the EE program directly support the ABET Criteria 3 A-K.2 Throughout the curriculum, EE students are provided many opportunities to grow in the various roles of engineers.

Several assessment measures have been employed to determine that the mission of the EE program has been achieved. However, it is desired to show that more engaged student are better prepared student in terms of ABET Criteria 3 A-K. Correlations between faculty perception of student competency on program outcomes and objectives, student perceptions, and student grade point average have been determined.3 A simple algorithm has been developed as a predictor for student engagement based on various engagement experiences.

Engagement Algorithm

An algorithm has been proposed to measure student engagement by assigning point values or weightings to various assessment measures. It is desired to determine whether or not this algorithm is an effective measure of engagement. The algorithm combines faculty perception, student participation, and student self perception. The formula for calculating the engagement index is as follows:

Engagement Index = K1* participation score + K2*faculty assessment score + K3* student self-assessment score

Wilson, S., & George, D., & bruni, J., & Cambron, M. (2008, June), Algorithm For Defining Student Engagement Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3346

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