June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.411.1 - 26.411.10
Correlation of Personality Type with Student Interest in Sustainability in Civil EngineeringThere is an established knowledge base linking personality type with learning preferences inengineering curricula. In this vein, personality assessment can be a useful tool for improving theeffectiveness of teaching technical engineering courses. Recent trends in engineering educationhave led to the inclusion of sustainability into the engineering disciplines. Sustainability inlower level civil engineering courses is often introduced at a conceptual level in the broad senseof environmental, economic, and social implications of engineered structures and materials.Sustainability in upper level civil engineering courses becomes more technical in content andmay include the use of sustainable materials in engineered structures and systems and addresslong term issues of sustainability through life cycle assessment. As the topic of sustainability,particularly in its abstract introduction in lower level courses, may be fundamentally differentfrom traditional technical engineering courses founded on scientific theory, it is useful to studythe relationships between personality type and sustainability in engineering education.A variety of personality assessment tools are available and easily accessible, one of the mostwell-known being the Myers Brigg Personality Type Indicator® (MBTI) test. The MBTI testidentifies 16 different personality types founded on preferences in four major categories based onJung’s Theory of Psychological Types. Test results will indicate whether a person tends to beextroverted (E) or introverted (I), sensing (S) or intuitive (N), thinking (T) or feeling (F), andjudging (J) or perceiving (P). Extensive research performed in the 1980s by the ASEE-MBTIEngineering Consortium showed engineering students favor thinking and judging and are moreoften introverted; there was little difference between sensing and intuitive types. More recentresearch also supports these findings.This paper presents a study on the relationships between personality type and learning preferencetoward sustainability in civil engineering. The personality types of undergraduate civilengineering students in two courses, a sophomore introduction to civil engineering course and ajunior level materials course, were determined using the MBTI test. The faculty teaching thesecourses also completed the MBTI test. Sustainability related topics were presented in these twocourses through traditional instructor-centered lectures and laboratory experiments. Personalitytype is then related to student interest in sustainability through surveys. Assessment is currentlyunderway and the results expected at the completion of this semester will be presented in thispaper. Results will correlate student interest in sustainability to personality type as well asgender, and ultimately give insight into effective methods for learning of sustainability fordifferent personality types. The study will also indicate if sustainability may be a viable meansto attract a more diverse population into civil engineering.
Braxtan, N. L., & Nossoni, G. (2015, June), Correlation of Personality Type with Student Interest in Sustainability in Civil Engineering Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23750
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