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Board 73: How "What Might Have Been" can Shape What's Yet to Come: Preliminary Evidence for Counterfactual Thoughts as an Intervention in Early Engineering Courses

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30098

Download Count

27

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Paper Authors

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Amy Summerville Miami University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6409-8233

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Dr. Summerville is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Miami University. She earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Summerville is a social psychologist whose research examines how thoughts of "what might have been" affect emotion, motivation, and behavior. She is the PI of a grant from NSF's EEC division investigating new interventions in engineering education that utilize social cognitive psychology.

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Brian P. Kirkmeyer Miami University

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Brian Kirkmeyer is the Karen Buchwald Wright Senior Assistant Dean for Student Success and Instructor in the College of Engineering and Computing at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. His background includes BS, MS and PhD degrees in Materials Science and Engineering (specialization in polymers), the former from Purdue University and the latter two from the University of Pennsylvania. He has work experiences in automotive electronics (Delphi Automotive Systems) and consumer products (International Flavors and Fragrances) prior to his current role. He served on the executive committee of the ASEE Women in Engineering division from 2010 to present.

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Jennifer Blue Miami University

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Jennifer Blue is an Associate Professor of Physics at Miami University. She works to give more people access to physics. Sometimes that’s reforming the curriculum for introductory classes, sometimes it’s working with K-12 science teachers, and sometimes it’s advocating for traditionally excluded populations, including women in STEM. Her website can be found here: http://www.users.miamioh.edu/bluejm/.

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Abstract

Students often struggle in first-year courses required for engineering majors, with up to 30% of students in some of these courses earning lower than a C. Previous research suggests students may develop study skills too late in the semester to get on track in these courses. The goal of our project, funded by NSF's Engineering Education program in the Division of Engineering Education and Centers, is to leverage research in cognitive science to develop an intervention to increase rates of successful completion in these early courses. Specifically, previous research suggests that counterfactual thoughts, which identify how things “might have been” different than they really were, can increase intentions for future behavior and improve future outcomes. Generating counterfactuals after an early course setback may thus be a useful strategy for overcoming these challenges and getting back on track in the major. We therefore examined whether students generated counterfactuals about exam performance, and the conditions under which these thoughts were associated with improved course performance.

Summerville, A., & Kirkmeyer, B. P., & Blue, J. (2018, June), Board 73: How "What Might Have Been" can Shape What's Yet to Come: Preliminary Evidence for Counterfactual Thoughts as an Intervention in Early Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30098

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