Asee peer logo

Attitudes Vs. Performance In The Engineering Classroom

Download Paper |

Conference

2002 Annual Conference

Location

Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Pedagogical Best Practices

Page Count

9

Page Numbers

7.248.1 - 7.248.9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/10901

Download Count

59

Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Darrell Guillaume

author page

Crist Khachikian

Download Paper |

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

Main Menu

Session 1451

Attitudes vs. Performance in the Engineering Classroom

Crist S. Khachikian, Darrell W. Guillaume California State University Los Angeles

Introduction

The paradigm subscribed to by most people is that if one believes that a goal can be achieved, success is more likely. This is especially true in the pursuit of educational goals 1. A new trend in introductory texts focusing on orienting students to higher education, including those used in engineering courses, is to place a high degree of emphasis on this point. For example the widely used text by Landis 1 is filled with phrases such as "you can do it," "believe in yourself," and "an A in each course should be the goal." If one believes and subscribes to this paradigm, then a constant emphasis on a positive attitude will effect change in student learning outcomes as manifested by their overall Grade Point Averages (GPAs). A few questions arise from this emphasis on motivating students toward positive attitudes. For example, one may ask the following questions:

1. Do introductory courses (e.g., Introduction to Engineering course taught at our university) that work within this positive-attitude paradigm truly support a positive outlook in students? 2. Is a positive attitude related to actual performance? 3. Does this positive attitude change during the duration of a course or the duration of a student’s academic career? 4. Does previous performance in school affect students’ attitudes and, in turn, their future grade?

The current study was undertaken to address the last three questions. A recent study by Petr 2 shows that a student’s performance on an exam is related to his or her confidence when answering each question on the exam. Another study reported in Angelo and Cross3 shows that by surveying the students’ self-confidence in a class and making them aware of the results can help build self-confidence and competence in the classroom, although the competence was not tied specifically to performance. This work examines the correlation between the student’s overall attitudes in a single class to his or her overall performance. A related study is looking at the effects of introductory courses on student outlook (question 1 above).

This study was performed to help elucidate the extent to which a student’s initial positive attitude contributes to his or her successful performance in the engineering classroom. Moreover, the influence of students' overall GPA on their attitudes and course performance is also inferred. The overall goal here is to address the last three questions posed above using a sample of Civil

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

Main Menu

Guillaume, D., & Khachikian, C. (2002, June), Attitudes Vs. Performance In The Engineering Classroom Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. https://peer.asee.org/10901

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: © 2002 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