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Effectiveness of High-Impact Practices (HIPS) in an Engineering Course

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Sharon S. Wu California State University, Fullerton

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Sharon Wu is currently a graduate student at California State University, Fullerton. She is conducting research in engineering design and STEM education research with focus on women and minorities,

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Yong Seok Park California State University, Fullerton

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Yong Seok Park is an assistant professor in mechanical engineering at California State University Fullerton. He earned his Master’s degree at George Washington University and his Doctorate at the Virginia Tech. Prior to joining California State Fullerton, Dr. Park was a postdoctoral research associate at Arizona State University. His research interests lie in undergraduate STEM education research and engineering design education.

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High Impact Practices (HIPs) are a transformative learning program inside and outside of the classroom to provide a positive impact on student learning outcomes. The purpose of this study is to present the effects of HIPS in a mechanical engineering class. There are seven key characteristics of HIPs: these are (1) interaction with faculty, (2) interaction with peers, (3) feedback from instructor, (4) time spent on the course, (5) engaging in reflection, (6) engaging in diversity, and (7) engaging in experiential learning. A series of surveys were used to measure how much each student engages with each of the HIPs characteristics. We used a mobile app developed by the university to track students who participated in a 300-level engineering course. A total of 40 students participated in the HIPs survey at the very first and last day of class. Researchers collected attendance data and measured learning gains by comparing pre-test and post-test data. We then conducted an ordinal logistic regression analysis to capture the demographic characteristics of each student with respect to each HIPs characteristic. Interestingly, 48.6 percent of our students reported as an Under-Represented Student (e.g., Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/a, or Native American). 66.7 percent of the students identified as a First Generation Student. Only 7.5 percent of the students are female, 25 and older in age. Lastly, we examined the relationship between learning gains in the course and student retention. The results provided from the HIPs program show significant beneficial outcomes with the following being the most successful: (1) interaction with faculty, (2) interaction with peers, (3) feedback from instructor, and (7) experiential learning. On the other hand, (4) time spent on the course, (5) engaging in reflection, and (6) engaging in diversity show a somewhat adequate relationship to learning gains. An ordinal logistic regression of individual demographics (URS, FIRSTGEN, AGE) on each of the HIPs survey questions show that if a student is under 25 years old, they spent less time interacting with classmates. If a student is a first-generation student, they had less feedback from their instructor. In addition, they also spent less time working with real-world problems as part of learning new material. If a student is female, they less strongly agreed that they had to spend a lot of time and effort to be engaged in the program. They also agreed that the course challenged them less to reach higher goals, academic or personal, than they thought they could. These all had statistically significant predictors (p<0.05). Regarding the learning gain, T-test shows that there is a demonstrated learning gain of 4.53 percentage points on average (p<0.05). However, there is no statistically significant relationship between learning gain and retention for this course. The rest of the paper will further discuss details of the effectiveness of the HIPs program’s in an engineering course.

Wu, S. S., & Park, Y. S. (2019, June), Effectiveness of High-Impact Practices (HIPS) in an Engineering Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32691

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