New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
The purpose of this research paper is to investigate the changes in motivational constructs for First-Year engineering students based on the revision of one of the introductory courses in the first year program in a large, public university. The course was revised as part of the assessment of the first year curriculum, with specific goals that include more effectively supporting student motivation to enhance student retention. Two versions of the course, classic and revised, were offered during one semester to the same cohort of students. A survey was implemented at the beginning and at the end of the semester in both courses including four constructs of motivation: identity, utility, belonging, and expectancy, along with other questions to collect demographic and course specific data. We analyzed data during the first and second semester when the revised version of the course was offered. During the first semester, 851 out of 1100 students enrolled in the classic version of the course and 184 out of 240 enrolled in the revised version of the course consented to participate. For the fall 2014 semester, of 1400 total, 1161 (at the beginning of the semester) and 1065 (at the end of the semester) completed the survey and consented to participate in the study.
Specifically, we address the following research questions: 1) How did first year students' identity, utility, belonging, and expectancy motivation constructs change during the course of the first year? 2) How do these constructs differ between students in the ‘classic’ and revised course?
The findings should be useful to programs changing, or anticipating changes to their first-year programs.
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