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Engineering State of Mind Instrument: A Tool for Self-assessment

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Assessment in the First Year

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

23

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34560

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34560

Download Count

58

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Paper Authors

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Jamie R. Gurganus University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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Dr. Jamie Gurganus works in the Mechanical
Engineering Department at UMBC, focusing in the field of Engineering Education. She serves as the Associate Director of Engineering Education Initiatives for the College of Engineering and IT at UMBC and recently as Co-Director of Advancing Engineering Education Excellence (AEEE). Her research is focused on solving problems relating to educating engineers, teachers, and the community. She seeks to identify best practices and develop assessments methods that assist teachers with student engagement, helping them to be successful throughout the STEM pipeline.
A few of these key areas include enhancing student’s spatial abilities (k-12 and higher education), integrating service learning into the classroom, implementing new instructional methodologies, and design optimization using additive manufacturing.

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Shannon M. Clancy University of Michigan

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Richard Olaf Blorstad DeMatha Catholic High School

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Richard currently serves as the instructor of engineering at DeMatha Catholic High School after pursuing his Master's of Science in Mechanical Engineering at UMBC. At UMBC, he researched the implementation of team-based learning techniques in undergraduate engineering courses. He began teaching computer science and engineering to high school students, while completing his graduate classes. Richard is a graduate of both UMBC and DeMatha and has served as DeMatha's rowing coach for 9 years.

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Ryan Reinhardt

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Charles D. Eggleton University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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Dr. Charles Dionisio Eggleton is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He has twenty-two years of experience teaching theoretical and laboratory courses in thermo-fluids to undergraduate students and was Department Chair from 2011 -2017. Dr. Eggleton earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University and his B.S. in Naval Architecture from the University of California.

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L. D. Timmie Topoleski University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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Abstract

This Complete Research paper will describe the implementation and assessment of a newly developed self-assessment tool called Engineering State of Mind Instrument (ESMI) for first year students in engineering. Students in their first and second year of engineering school may struggle with their understanding of whether they are suitable as an engineer and if they will graduate, despite earning good grades. They may seek advice from an advisor, peer, mentor, or do nothing at all. In contributing to improving retention of engineering students, a self-assessment tool was developed, over a multi-year process, from validated surveys that assess a student’s engineering state of mind. This includes attitudes, perceptions and self-efficacy towards engineering. The Social Cognitive Career theory was used as the framework in the development of the Engineering State of Mind Instrument (ESMI). At the University, currently, an average of 45% of the students who declared their major to be mechanical engineering, graduate from the program within 6 years. Of the graduating population in mechanical engineering, women and men show equal graduation rates of 50% to 60% within five years. Computer engineering and chemical engineering students graduate around 48%-55%. To increase the retention, this university has adopted many notable practices, including mentoring programs, peer mentoring, tutoring, living learning communities and more. However, these opportunities are not all readily available to all students. Although a great deal of work has been done to establish interventions for first year students there is very little focus on the student’s ability to self-assess and understand their perceptions and attitudes. Research has shown that a student’s engagement depends on their perceptions of their ability to do well in a specific task or discipline. Therefore, this study will serve to create an opportunity to promote self-awareness, through immediate feedback, and assist in identifying and developing students engineering mindset. To thoroughly assess the instrument, the college’s first year engineering course (with ~280 students) was evaluated. This is a required course and therefore all three engineering disciplines (mechanical, computer, and chemical engineering) are represented. The class delivery format includes one lecture and 10 discussion sections ranging with 20-30 students. The ESMI was implemented at the very beginning of the semester. To assess the impact, the 10 discussions were divided into 4 experimental groups. • Group#1: Received ESMI at the start of the semester. No interventions took place. They received ESMI again, toward the end of the semester with follow up questions on the impact of the instrument. • Group#2: Received ESMI at the start of the semester. Interventions took place. They received ESMI again, toward the end of the semester with follow up questions on the impact of the instrument. • Group#3: Did not receive ESMI at the beginning of the semester. Did not receive interventions. They received ESMI toward the end of the semester with follow up questions on the impact of the instrument. • Group#4: Did not received ESMI at the beginning of the semester. Received interventions. Contained organic interventions of Honors College and First Year Experience (FYE) affiliated students. They received ESMI toward the end of the semester with follow up questions on impact of the tool. The interventions include communicating information dedicated to variables related to improving their attitudes, perceptions and self-efficacy. Additionally, third, fourth- and fifth-year students were asked to take the instrument to serve as both an example to the first-year students and comparison variable. Results from this study showed students who received the ESMI at the beginning and end of the semester and also had interventions, displayed improvement in all variables. The students who didn’t participate in the ESMI at the beginning or have interventions showed some or no improvement at all. A follow-up impact survey supported these results, reiterating the benefit from and need for an engineering self-assessing instrument.

Gurganus, J. R., & Clancy, S. M., & Blorstad, R. O., & Reinhardt, R., & Eggleton, C. D., & Topoleski, L. D. T. (2020, June), Engineering State of Mind Instrument: A Tool for Self-assessment Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34560

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