June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Energy Conversion and Conservation
22.168.1 - 22.168.7
An Evaluation of an Electric Drive Vehicle Program Based on Student Motivation and Learning EffectivenessElectric drive vehicles (EDVs) are becoming more and more prevalent in today’smarketplace. As such, there is a growing demand for engineers and mechanics thatunderstand these specific types of systems. The U.S. department of Energy recentlyawarded a Midwestern technological research university and partners funding to developa large scale training project. The project includes the development of undergraduate andgraduate curricula and programs at the university level and for community collegevocational programs for mechanics. The project also includes a public disseminationcomponent, including partners from a science center in a large metropolitan area in theMidwest. This program began recently, in the fall of 2010.The purpose of this research is to provide an initial evaluation of the program. A numberof courses will be evaluated, ranging from freshmen to graduate – many being taught forthe first time. Since studies have shown that students who are more motivated andengaged in their major of study have a higher probability of degree completion in thatmajor, this program will be evaluated on not only its educational value, but also itsimpact on student motivation and interest in the field of EDVs. A survey instrument willbe distributed to students enrolled in each course. These will be used for a quantitativeevaluation of learning effectiveness and student engagement. Interviews will beconducted with a random sample of students in each course. Data collected in interviewswill be evaluated qualitatively using Strauss and Corbin’s grounded theory approach toidentify key themes in responses and formulate theories to compare with known literatureon engineering motivation.
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