July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Women in Engineering
Active, problem-based learning has been increasingly used in engineering education. In contrast to passive lecture-oriented traditional education, active learning focuses on practical experience, interactive engagement, and students’ motivation. Group projects to design and build devices and ethical case studies sensitize students to experiences outside of the classroom. They also increase critical thinking and engagement. A curriculum that is rooted in social justice may attract more females and minorities. Active learning pedagogy and attention to social responsibility in engineering courses has been linked to retaining female students and students of color. Research has demonstrated that short-term outcomes of an active learning pedagogy include increasing student engagement in class, improving students’ examination results than traditional courses, and ensuring more students pass the course. Prior research has demonstrated that long-term outcomes shift the focus from mathematics to the understanding of phenomena and conceptual thinking, increase engagement and motivation to learn, and help students gain self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment. The purpose of this longitudinal study is to understand the relationship between an institution’s engineering program rooted in active learning and undergraduate student persistence, particularly for women. To do this, we also explored how students’ engagement and other factors predicted their persistence.
At the beginning of their freshmen and sophomore years, students completed an adapted version of the Longitudinal Assessment of Engineering Self-Efficacy (LAESE). They also completed portions of the Student Responses to Instructional Practices Instrument and the Engineering Professional Responsibilities Assessment Tool. For specialized aspects of the curriculum, we also collected class assignment rubrics, and pre-post assessments. Based on preliminary analyses, students have reported higher levels of engagement, social responsibility, and persistence than what students at other institutions report. These patterns are consistent for both men and women.
Kallemeyn, L., & Baura, G., & Fils-Aime, F., & Grabarek, J., & Livas, P. (2021, July), Engineering Curriculum Rooted in Active Learning: Does It Promote Engagement and Persistence for Women? Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37056
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