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Empowering Students to be Adaptive Decision-Makers: Bringing it All Together

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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

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Marisa Orr Clemson University

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Marisa K. Orr is an Associate Professor in Engineering and Science Education with a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University. Her research interests include student persistence and pathways in engineering, gender equity, diversity, and academic policy. Dr. Orr is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award for her research entitled, ”Empowering Students to be Adaptive Decision-Makers.”

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Baker Martin Clemson University

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Baker Martin is a Lecturer in General Engineering at Clemson University where he teaches in the first-year engineering program. His research interests include choice and decision making, especially relating to first-year engineering students’ major selection. He earned his Ph.D. in Engineering and Science Education from Clemson University, his M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech.

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Haleh Brotherton Clemson University

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Haleh Barmaki Brotherton is a PhD student in the Department of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University. Her research interests include perfectionism, self-regulation, and decision-making. She earned her BS and MS from Middle East Technical University in Industrial Design.

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Jessica Manning Clemson University

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Jessica Manning is a PhD student in the Department of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University. She is also a Graduate Administrative Assistant for the Bioengineering Department and assists with advising students throughout their academic careers. Her primary research focuses on women and minorities in multiple engineering disciplines. She earned her BS from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, and her MS from Clemson University, Clemson, both in Mechanical Engineering.

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Katherine Ehlert Clemson University

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This paper provides an update on activities and accomplishments of an NSF CAREER project about empowering students to be adaptive decision-makers. According to the Self-Regulated Model of Decision-Making, to make adaptive decisions, individuals need knowledge of the context, an understanding of themselves, and effective strategies. Our study is designed to support these components by rigorously studying the context of major changes, developing an instrument to explain student’s decision-making competency and map to academic choices and outcomes, and packaging these results along with strategy tools and resources in an academic dashboard. Specifically, we summarize our progress and accomplishments in these three areas: (1) the identification of curriculum-specific indicators of overpersistence (which refers to when a student persists in a major yet does not progress toward attaining a degree for that major) conducted through Chi-Square Automatic Interaction Detector (CHAID) analysis; (2) development and validation of the Multidimensional Inventory of Decision-Making Competency (MIDC); and (3) the design process of the Academic Dashboard for students with functionalities such as tracking their study habits, predicting exam grades and developing their meta-cognition attributes.

Orr, M., & Martin, B., & Brotherton, H., & Manning, J., & Ehlert, K. (2022, August), Empowering Students to be Adaptive Decision-Makers: Bringing it All Together Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN.

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