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Development of an Instrument to Measure the Entrepreneurial Mindset of Engineering Students

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Works in Progress: Assessment and Research Tools

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

16

DOI

10.18260/p.26819

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26819

Download Count

1308

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Paper Authors

biography

Cheryl Q. Li University of New Haven

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Cheryl Qing Li joined University of New Haven in the fall of 2011, where she is a Senior Lecturer of the Industrial, System & Multidisciplinary Engineering Department. Li earned her first Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from National University of Singapore in 1997. She served as Assistant Professor and subsequently Associate Professor in mechatronics engineering at University of Adelaide, Australia, and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, respectively. In 2006, she resigned from her faculty job and came to Connecticut for family reunion. Throughout her academic career in Australia and Singapore, she had developed a very strong interest in learning psychology and educational measurement. She then opted for a second Ph.D. in educational psychology, specialized in measurement, evaluation and assessment at University of Connecticut. She earned her second Ph.D. in 2010. Li has a unique cross-disciplinary educational and research background in mechatronics engineering, specialized in control and robotics, and educational psychology, specialized in statistical analysis and program evaluation.

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Ronald S. Harichandran University of New Haven

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Ron Harichandran is Dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering and is the PI of the grant entitled Developing Entrepreneurial Thinking in Engineering Students by Utilizing Integrated Online Modules and a Leadership Cohort. Through this grant entrepreneurial thinking will be integrated into courses spanning all four years in seven ABET accredited engineering and computer science BS programs.

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Maria-Isabel Carnasciali University of New Haven Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0001-5887-0744

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Maria-Isabel Carnasciali is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Tagliatela College of Engineering, University of New Haven, CT. She obtained her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2008. She received her Bachelors of Engineering from MIT in 2000. Her research focuses on the nontraditional engineering student – understanding their motivations, identity development, and impact of prior engineering-related experiences. Her work dwells into learning in informal settings such as summer camps, military experiences, and extra-curricular activities. Other research interests involve validation of CFD models for aerospace applications as well as optimizing efficiency of thermal-fluid systems.

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Nadiye O. Erdil University of New Haven

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Nadiye O. Erdil is an assistant professor of industrial engineering and engineering and operations management at the University of New Haven. Her research interests include use of statistical methods and lean tools for quality and process improvement, and use of information technology in operations management. Her work is primarily in manufacturing and healthcare delivery operations.

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Jean Nocito-Gobel University of New Haven

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Jean Nocito-Gobel, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of New Haven, received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has been actively involved in a number of educational initiatives in the Tagliatela College of Engineering including KEEN and PITCH, PI of the ASPIRE grant, and is the coordinator for the first-year Intro to Engineering course. Her professional interests include modeling the transport and fate of contaminants in groundwater and surface water systems, as well as engineering education reform.

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Abstract

This work in progress describes the development of an instrument to measure entrepreneurial mindset of engineering students. The need for developing the entrepreneurial mindset of engineering students is being recognized by many universities. However, very few comprehensive, generalized and well-validated instruments are available for assessing the entrepreneurial mindset of engineering students. Most research and educational efforts focus on the design and implementation of engineering entrepreneurship programs, but assessment practices have not kept up.1-2 There are several reasons for the shortfall in assessment practices: 1) Introducing engineering students to entrepreneurship is a relatively new trend and it will take time for the successes to be quantified and assessed; 2) There are inconsistencies across different engineering entrepreneurship programs; 3) The program can involve a single course, multiple courses, projects or experiential learning; 4) The concepts can be taught by engineering faculty, business faculty, practicing engineers, or a mix of these.3 These program differences lead to variations in assessment methods and instruments. Most importantly, there is lack of a clear, consistent and comprehensive definition of engineering entrepreneurship characteristics within the community.4 The Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) states that an entrepreneurially minded engineer should possess curiosity about our changing world, habitually make connections, gaining insight from many sources of information, and focus on creating value for others.5 KEEN defines 12 secondary learning outcomes based on the primary 3C’s.5 This paper describes the development of an assessment instrument to measure the entrepreneurial mindset of engineering students based on KEEN’s definitions. An assessment instrument consisting of 37 questions was developed. Since psychological measurement theory suggests that lengthy questionnaires can lead to low response rates and distorted responses due to fatigue, the survey was designed to be reasonably concise. Students’ general entrepreneurial characteristics such as their intellectual and exploratory curiosity levels, interests and experiences in entrepreneurship, career plans, etc. are measured through 12 items. The other 25 items are designed to measure the KEEN secondary learning outcomes, with one or two questions related to each outcome. The specific approaches undertaken for item validation and data collection are described. Statistical analysis results from t-tests on different student populations, reliability analysis based on Cronbach’s α, and exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of the assessment instrument are presented. It is expected that the outcomes of the factor analyses will result in a rigorously validated assessment instrument for the measurement of the engineering entrepreneurial mindset of students.

1. Shartrand, et al, 2008, “Assessing student learning in technology entrepreneurship”, the 38th ASEE/ISEE Frontiers in Education Conference, Oct. 2008, Saratoga Springs, NY. 2. Pittaway and Hannon, 2009, “Assessment practice in enterprise education”, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2009, pp. 71-93. 3. Standish-Kuon and Rice, 2002, “Introducing engineering and science students to entrepreneurship: Models and influential factors at six American universities,” JEE, Vol. 91, No.1, 2002, pp. 33-39. 4. Bilen, S.G., Kisenwether, E. C., Rzasa, S. E. and Wise, J.C. “Developing and Assessing students’ entrepreneurial skills and mind-sets”, Journal of Engineering Education, April 2005, pp 233-243. 5. KEEN website: http://keennetwork.org/, last retrieved on Oct.11. 2015

Li, C. Q., & Harichandran, R. S., & Carnasciali, M., & Erdil, N. O., & Nocito-Gobel, J. (2016, June), Development of an Instrument to Measure the Entrepreneurial Mindset of Engineering Students Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26819

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