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Examining Engineering Technology Students: How They Perceive and Order Their Thoughts

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Anne M. Lucietto Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Lucietto has focused her research in engineering technology education and the understanding of engineering technology students. She teaches in an active learning style which engages and develops practical skills in the students. Currently she is exploring the performance and attributes of engineering technology students and using that knowledge to engage them in their studies.

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Jennifer Drapinski Moss Purdue University

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Dr. Jennifer Moss is an educational psychologist, studying motivation among pre-service teachers and college faculty members. Along with teaching pre-service teachers, she is the project manager for the STEAM project, a First in the World grant project, funded by the US Department of Education. She works for the Center for Instructional of Excellence at Purdue University.

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Mark French Purdue University

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Mark French started his career as a civilian aerospace engineer for the US Air Force after getting a BS in Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at VA Tech. While working for the Air Force, he did an MS and a PhD at the University of Dayton. His dissertation was on the design of aeroelastically scaled wind tunnel models. After 10 years with the Air Force, he moved to the auto industry, spending 3 years with Lear and 6 years with Bosch. He came to Purdue in 2004 where he is now a professor in the School of Engineering Technology. He works on musical instrument design and structural mechanics. Over the years, he's published the usual collection of articles and conference papers along with two books.

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Lack of rigorous research focused on engineering technology students’ leaves administrators and practitioners in this area without adequate resources to advise and guide this unique population. This absence of research is most likely attributed to smaller student populations as compared to other related fields recently researched. A preliminary systemic review reveals that research defining whom the engineering technology student are and how they think is largely unavailable.

This study is expected to demonstrate growth in engineering technology students from their first year to their last year in college. Natural growth, opportunities for growth through programmatic opportunities, and other various experiences provide the individual experiences that impact how they think and perceive. Overall, it is expected that freshman enters the program with a broad variety of perceptions and order. These students’ perceptions and orders may become less varied as they mature and experience a common curriculum.

To further our understanding of engineering technology students and how they change over time, both freshman and senior engineering technology students were asked to complete the Gregorc Style Delineator. This instrument allows the investigation of how these students perceive and order their thoughts within four defined areas of abstraction and logic referred to as mediation channels. Gregorc asserts that these channels of mediation facilitate how we related to the world via a psychological style.

Gregorc found that humans have comparable amounts of the abilities assessed in the instrument. However, he does state that we are naturally predisposed to using two mediation channels. This predisposition of using two mediation channels provides differentiation between one person, and another and Gregorc asserts that these differences often lead to conflict and misunderstandings. Which mediation channels are most often seen in engineering technology students is unknown, however through the administration of this instrument, we will learn if generalizations regarding this population are possible.

Lucietto, A. M., & Moss, J. D., & French, M. (2017, June), Examining Engineering Technology Students: How They Perceive and Order Their Thoughts Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27418

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