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Contextualized Self-Regulated Learning: Chemical Engineering Students’ Learning Experiences in a Materials and Energy Balances Course

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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

Assessment in Chemical Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Araoluwa Adaramola Purdue University at West Lafayette (PPI)

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AraOluwa Adaramola is a graduate student at Purdue University (ORCiD 0000-0002-2322-7932). She is interested in engineering education, particularly in the chemical engineering context.

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Allison Godwin Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Allison Godwin, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education and of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. She is also the Engineering Workforce Development Director for CISTAR, the Center for Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center. Her research focuses on how identity, among other affective factors, influences diverse students to choose engineering and persist in engineering. She also studies how different experiences within the practice and culture of engineering foster or hinder belonging and identity development. Dr. Godwin graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D. in Engineering and Science Education. Her research earned her a National Science Foundation CAREER Award focused on characterizing latent diversity, which includes diverse attitudes, mindsets, and approaches to learning to understand engineering students’ identity development.

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The transition into an engineering discipline via introductory discipline-specific courses can be challenging for many undergraduate students. These reasons include the demanding nature of engineering coursework which can be exacerbated by the documented equity and inclusion issues. Chemical engineering students are often introduced to the curriculum through the materials and energy balances (MEB) course. Because students’ performance in the MEB course significantly impacts their pathways into or out of the chemical engineering program, it is essential to create more equitable learning environments and consider how students develop the relevant skills needed to succeed in the MEB course. This paper reports on the initial development of a contextualized conceptual framework to describe how students monitor and control their strategies towards their intended learning goals in the MEB course based on the self-regulated learning (SRL) framework. We conducted two focus groups with students enrolled in the MEB course in Fall 2021. The research participants described their learning experiences in the MEB course using a visual elicitation tool (a rich picture). Excerpts from the focus groups transcripts and research artifacts (i.e., rich pictures) were used to answer the research question, “What types of self-regulated learning skills are used by students in the MEB course?” The rich pictures and focus group transcripts were coded using directed qualitative content analysis (QCA). We identified that Action and Effort, Understanding, and Motivation are necessary components of students learning experience in the MEB course. In addition to the cognitive and behavioral strategies, motivational learning strategies are essential for students’ development and success in the MEB course. Our results indicate opportunities to support the development of effective regulation strategies towards intended learning goals. It is also necessary to explicitly teach these skills, rather than relying on inconsistent learning experiences and processes.

Adaramola, A., & Godwin, A. (2022, August), Contextualized Self-Regulated Learning: Chemical Engineering Students’ Learning Experiences in a Materials and Energy Balances Course Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN.

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