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Engineering Students' Development as Lifelong Learners

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Engineering Identity 2

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.521.1 - 23.521.9



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Paper Authors


John C. Chen California Polytechnic State University

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John Chen is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University, which he joined in 2008. Prior to that he was an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering for 10 years at Rowan University. His interests in engineering education include conceptual learning, conceptual change, and lifelong learning.

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Susan M Lord University of San Diego

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Susan M. Lord received a B.S. from Cornell University and the M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. She is currently Professor and Coordinator of Electrical Engineering at the University of San Diego. Her teaching and research interests include electronics, optoelectronics, materials science, first year engineering courses, feminist and liberative pedagogies, engineering student persistence, and student autonomy. Her research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Lord is active in the engineering education community including serving as General Co-Chair of the 2006 Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, on the FIE Steering Committee, and as President of the IEEE Education Society for 2009-2010. She is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Education. She and her coauthors were awarded the 2011 Wickenden Award for the best paper in the Journal of Engineering Education and the 2011 Best Paper Award for the IEEE Transactions on Education. In Spring 2012, Dr. Lord spent a sabbatical at Southeast University in Nanjing, China teaching and doing research.

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Karen J McGaughey Cal Poly State University

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Associate Professor
Department of Statistics
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA

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Engineering Students’ Development as Lifelong LearnersIt is widely accepted that one goal of higher education is to instill in students the need for and thepractice of lifelong learning. All major stakeholders of higher education – graduates, employers,faculty and accrediting agencies – agree that this outcome is critically important given the rapidpace of change of society, especially in engineering and technology. Our graduates must adaptto this change in order to remain productive contributors. Indeed, it can be argued that much – oreven most – of what an engineering graduate needs to know several years after obtaining his orher degree will not have been learned in school but will need to be acquired through independentlearning outside of formal instructional settings. Given the importance of lifelong learning, it issurprising that there is a paucity of methods to assess this outcome in students. Two recentlydeveloped assessment instruments (Kirby et al., 2010; Macaskill & Taylor, 2010) purport tomeasure various facets of this outcome in college students. We use these instruments to assessfor differences between engineering students at a large, public university in the western UnitedStates, and also to compare the results between the two instruments as a check on congruence.Engineering students from the first through senior year of study in a variety of disciplines weresurveyed using both instruments. The sample (n=390) also included a fair representation byfemales and minority groups. Analysis of variance was used to assess for differences betweenthe various subgroups of students.

Chen, J. C., & Lord, S. M., & McGaughey, K. J. (2013, June), Engineering Students' Development as Lifelong Learners Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19535

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