Asee peer logo

Expectations in Engineering Programs: Between Social Construction and Internalized Experience

Download Paper |

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

Student Perceptions of Self-efficacy, Success, and Identity

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

22

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34627

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/34627

Download Count

58

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Hindolo Michael Kamanda University of Georgia

visit author page

Undergraduate researcher at the University of Georgia

visit author page

biography

Davis George Anderson Wilson University of Georgia

visit author page

Undergraduate researcher at the University of Georgia

visit author page

biography

Joachim Walther University of Georgia

visit author page

Dr. Joachim Walther is a Professor of engineering education research at the University of Georgia and the Founding Director of the Engineering Education Transformations Institute (EETI) in the College of Engineering. The Engineering Education Transformations Institute at UGA is an innovative approach that fuses high quality engineering education research with systematic educational innovation to transform the educational practices and cultures of engineering. Dr. Walther’s research group, the Collaborative Lounge for Understanding Society and Technology through Educational Research (CLUSTER), is a dynamic interdisciplinary team that brings together professors, graduate, and undergraduate students from engineering, art, educational psychology, and social work in the context of fundamental educational research. Dr. Walther’s research program spans interpretive research methodologies in engineering education, the professional formation of engineers, the role of empathy and reflection in engineering learning, and student development in interdisciplinary and interprofessional spaces.

visit author page

biography

Nicola W. Sochacka University of Georgia

visit author page

Dr. Nicola Sochacka is the Associate Director for Research Initiation and Enablement in the Engineering Education Transformations Institute (EETI) in the College of Engineering at UGA. Supported by over 1.5M in funding, Dr. Sochacka’s research interests include systems thinking, diversity, STEAM (STEM + Art) education, and the role of empathy in engineering education and practice. Her work has been recognized through multiple best paper awards and keynote presentations at international and national conferences and workshops.

visit author page

biography

Stephen Secules Florida International University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3149-2306

visit author page

Dr. Stephen Secules is an Assistant Professor Engineering and Computing Education at Florida International University. He has a prior academic and professional background in engineering, having worked professionally as an acoustical engineer. He has taught a number of courses on engineering and education, including courses on engineering design, systems in society, and learning theories. Stephen's research interests include equity, culture, and the sociocultural dimensions of engineering education.

visit author page

biography

James L. Huff Harding University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6693-5808

visit author page

James Huff is an assistant professor of engineering at Harding University, where he primarily teaches human-centered design in engineering. His research interests are aligned with how engineering students develop in their career identity while also developing as whole persons. James received his Ph.D. in engineering education and his M.S. in electrical and computer engineering, both from Purdue University. He received his bachelor's in computer engineering at Harding University.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Prior research established that expectations play a significant role in students educational experiences. Academic and non-academic expectations can contribute to students’ stress and anxiety, and have been shown to impact achievement and retention. This study uses ethnographic methods to investigate how expectations are socially constructed in engineering programs and how students’ come to internalize these expectations. Data was collected in ten focus groups with a total of 38 participants at two universities with different institutional characteristics. The qualitative analysis drew on constant comparative methods and proceeded from topic coding of sources of expectations to interpretive coding of mechanisms in which students internalized experiences. More specifically, sources of expectations were identified as academics, superiors, peers, extra-curricular, and from outside the major. The rich account of students lived-experiences show a complex interplay of expectations from multiple sources. The mechanisms of compounding, conflicting, and triangulating expectations show that the interactions of expectations can amplify their emotional impacts on students. The results indicate that students judge their own performance or belonging in engineering relative to the systemic functioning of expectations. For educators this insight has profound implications on how we communicate performance standards without inadvertently reinforcing social performance expectations that can contribute to problematic cultural features of engineering learning environments.

Kamanda, H. M., & Wilson, D. G. A., & Walther, J., & Sochacka, N. W., & Secules, S., & Huff, J. L. (2020, June), Expectations in Engineering Programs: Between Social Construction and Internalized Experience Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34627

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015