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Comparison of Intrinsic Motivation of Freshmen Engineering Students as they Participate in a Multinational Design Project

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

They need more than technical skills!

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Jorge Rodriguez P.E. Western Michigan University

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Faculty member in the Department of Engineering Design, Manufacturing, and Management Systems (EDMMS) at Western Michigan University's (WMU). Co-Director of the Center for Integrated Design (CID), and currently the college representative to the President’s University-wide Sustainability Committee at WMU. Received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering-Design from University of Wisconsin-Madison and received an MBA from Rutgers University. His B.S. degree was in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at Monterrey Tech (ITESM-Monterrey Campus). Teaches courses in CAD/CAE, Mechanical Design, Finite Element Method and Optimization. His interest are in the area of product development, topology optimization, additive manufacturing, sustainable design, and biomechanics.

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Ivan E. Esparragoza Pennsylvania State University, Media

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Ivan E. Esparragoza is an Associate Professor of Engineering at Penn State. His interests are in engineering design education, innovative design, global design, and global engineering education. He has introduced multinational design projects in a freshman introductory engineering design course in collaboration with institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of his effort to contribute to the formation of world class engineers for the Americas. He is actively involved in the International Division of the American Society for Engineering Education and in the Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institution (LACCEI).

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Jared Roberto Ocampo Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana (UNITEC)

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Jared R. Ocampo is currently a researcher of the Faculty of Engineering at Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana (UNITEC) campus of San Pedro Sula and previously worked as Academic Head of Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering Coordinator and as an undergraduate and graduate professor. He also works as a private consultant in the areas of industrial automation and industrial process simulation. Because of his experience with software and hardware he also works as a representative for Flexsim Simulation Software and National Instruments.

He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MS also in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University (USA) and is currently working on his dissertation to complete his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain).

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There is an increasing need to prepare future engineers with technical and professional skills to be competitive in the global market. Technical knowledge has been traditionally taught in an effective way but the professional skills had been placed in a second tier until the new global economy and information technology developments started calling for engineers with traits and abilities beyond the technical knowledge. Teamwork, communication, and global awareness skills are now essential topics in the engineering curriculum. As a result, students are exposed to educational experiences where these competencies can be developed. However, the effectiveness of those educational experiences is closely related to the level of internal motivation and perception of value that students have regarding those experiences as supported by studies reported in the literature. Internal motivation and interest are important drivers contributing to the learning process. In the case of engineering, students can appreciate the technical aspects of their career. Nevertheless, they might not easily recognize the value of teamwork, communication, and global awareness competencies in an engineering environment. Incorporation of multinational global design projects into engineering courses early in the curriculum has the purpose not only of highlighting the significance of professional competencies but also creating a learning experience where students can start developing those skills. Therefore, of particular interest is to determine the intrinsic motivation and value perception that students have about a multinational design projects introduced in the first year. This paper presents the results of an evaluation aimed to determine the level of motivation and perception of value that a group of students in US institutions have when participating in a multinational design project. The evaluation was done with a questionnaire based on the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) and was given to the students at the beginning and the end of their participation in the multinational project. The data collected provides information in four sub-scales which are: interest/enjoyment, perceived competence, pressure/tension, and value/usefulness. These sub-scales provide information about students’ interests, belief, and feelings about the international project that reflect their level of interest and perception of value. The results show a statistically significant change in the level of intrinsic motivation and perception of value that is contrary to the educational intention of the learning experience. Possible causes and recommendations are provided as part of this work.

Rodriguez, J., & Esparragoza, I. E., & Ocampo, J. R. (2017, June), Comparison of Intrinsic Motivation of Freshmen Engineering Students as they Participate in a Multinational Design Project Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28055

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