Asee peer logo

Factors Impacting Engagement and Achievement in a First-Year Design Thinking Course

Download Paper |


2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Unique Projects and Pedagogies

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Wonki Lee Purdue University at West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Wonki Lee is pursuing a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction’s Literacy and Language program at Purdue University. She received her B.A and M.S in Korean Language Education from Seoul National University, South Korea. She served culturally and linguistically diverse students as a Korean teacher for six years while pursuing her PhD in South Korea. At Purdue, she worked as a research assistant in Engineering Education studying students’ motivation and is working as teaching assistant in Technology Education. Her research interests are culturally responsive teaching in multicultural settings, cultivating multiliteracies for multicultural education in K-12 contexts, and critical literacy education in early childhood. Her dissertation research concentrates on promoting preservice teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs in culturally responsive literacy teaching.

visit author page


Nathan Mentzer Purdue University at West Lafayette

visit author page

Nathan Mentzer is an assistant professor in the College of Technology with a joint appointment in the College of Education at Purdue University. Hired as a part of the strategic P12 STEM initiative, he prepares Engineering/Technology candidates for teacher licensure. Dr. Mentzer’s educational efforts in pedagogical content knowledge are guided by a research theme centered in student learning of engineering design thinking on the secondary level. Nathan was a former middle and high school technology educator in Montana prior to pursuing a doctoral degree. He was a National Center for Engineering and Technology Education (NCETE) Fellow at Utah State University while pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. After graduation he completed a one year appointment with the Center as a postdoctoral researcher.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Student engagement, as measured by cognitive, affective, attentional participation in an educational setting, is prominent in recent engineering education [1], [2]. It is inextricably intertwined with students’ motivation, and those two constructs have a strong impact on student’s meaningful learning experience, academic achievement, and knowledge development [3]. Project-based learning with authentic hands-on experiences in a collaborative setting is believed to promote students’ motivation and engagement in an engineering education setting [4]–[7]. For the first-year engineering students, experience project-based learning from the early age of the engineering curriculum help students improve teamwork, leadership, communication, and relevant knowledge [10]. Further, the learning through a collaborative project can be integrated into later years of the engineering curriculum [11]. Project-based learning is widely implemented in teaching design thinking in the engineering curriculum [12]. However, just forming a project-based learning environment does not automatically guarantee enhanced engagement due to the nature of teamwork [13], [14]. The individual, contextual difference in engagement may result in ineffective collaborative experience, dampen students’ motivation, and deter in-depth learning [15]. This paper examines how varying degrees of engagement mediates students’ motivation, learning environment, and achievement in the hyflex design thinking course. By considering engagement in relation to other factors, situational motivation (intrinsic motivation, internal regulation, external regulation, amotivation), learning environments (collaborative experiences and learning supports), this study aims to figure out how engagement mediates students’ academic achievement.

Lee, W., & Mentzer, N. (2021, July), Factors Impacting Engagement and Achievement in a First-Year Design Thinking Course Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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: © 2021 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