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Examining Engineering Students’ Shift in Mindsets Over the Course of a Semester: A Longitudinal Study

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Conference

2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

Formation and Development of Engineers

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods Division (ERM)

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

18

DOI

10.18260/1-2--43477

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/43477

Download Count

128

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Paper Authors

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Dina Verdin Arizona State University, Polytechnic Campus Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6048-1104

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Dina Verdín, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. She graduated from San José State University with a BS in Industrial Systems Engineering and from Purdue University with an MS in Industrial Engineering and PhD in Engineering Education. Her research interest focuses on changing the deficit base perspective of first-generation college students by providing asset-based approaches to understanding this population. Dina is interested in understanding how first-generation college students author their identities as engineers and negotiate their multiple identities in the current culture of engineering. Dina has won several awards including the 2022-2023 Outstanding Research Publication Award by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Division I, 2018 ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference Best Diversity Paper Award, 2019 College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award and the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) Distinguished Scholar Award. Dina's dissertation proposal was selected as part of the top 3 in the 2018 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Division D In-Progress Research Gala.

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Carlos Luis Perez Arizona State University

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Carlos Luis Pérez is a Ph.D. student at Arizona State University in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the Engineering Education Systems and Design program. He earned an M.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Syracuse University. His research is centered on alternative pedagogical methods, specifically mastery learning. He is interested in examining the effects of mastery learning on student learning, attitudes and motivation and how students experience mastery learning courses. He complements his focus on students’ experiences by looking at how mastery learning shifts instructors’ beliefs about teaching practices and assessments.

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Sharona Krinsky California State University, Los Angeles

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Sharona Krinsky is an instructor and course coordinator in the Mathematics department at California State University, Los Angeles and the co-PI of the NSF funded project "Commitment to Learning Instilled by a Mastery-Based Undergraduate Program (CLIMB-UP). She works with faculty on redesigning courses to utilize the principles of mastery-based grading in order to enhance student success and enable increased equity, inclusion, and access to careers in STEM fields for students from historically underrepresented groups. Sharona is a founding organizer of "The Grading Conference", an annual two-day online conference focused on reforming grading as we know it across STEM fields throughout higher education, now entering its fifth year. She coordinates a large general education Quantitative Reasoning with Statistics course for over 1,400 students per year as well as teaches a wide range of mathematics courses including Calculus and Linear Algebra.

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Emily L. Allen California State University, Los Angeles

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Emily L. Allen, Ph.D., is Dean Emerita of the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology at California State University, Los Angeles.

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Abstract

Students (like all people) have elements of both growth and fixed mindsets. We studied shifts in both types of student mindsets over three one-semester courses. We found no significant change in students’ growth mindset at the beginning of the semester compared to the end of the semester. However, students’ fixed mindsets showed a statistically significant increase from the beginning of the semester to the end of the semester. Two multilevel models were used to understand why students’ fixed mindsets may have increased 1) personal sourcesmastery goal, performance goal, and internal recognition, and 2) situational sourcesclassroom goal orientations and external recognition. Students’ endorsement of a performance goal orientation, which focuses on demonstrating competence and managing others’ perception of their abilities, increased their fixed mindset views at the end of the semester. In the model focused on situational sources, we found that students’ fixed mindset increased when they perceived their classroom environment endorsed a performance-approach goal structure and by receiving external recognition. When comparing both models, students’ fixed mindset increase was largely explained by classroom environmental sources. Specifically, students’ fixed mindsets increased when they perceived that their classroom environment valued a demonstration of competence (i.e., classroom performance-approach). Being recognized as an engineer by peers and instructors also increased students’ fixed views of their abilities. Conversely, one situational source was found to decrease students’ fixed mindset views, i.e., a classroom environment that promotes mastery goals. Our study points to an apparent and crucial role engineering classroom environments have in promoting certain mindsets. The study concludes with one pedagogical strategy that may help mitigate the inadvertent promotion of a fixed mindset, e.g., a mastery learning pedagogical intervention.

Verdin, D., & Perez, C. L., & Krinsky, S., & Allen, E. L. (2023, June), Examining Engineering Students’ Shift in Mindsets Over the Course of a Semester: A Longitudinal Study Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--43477

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