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Faculty Characteristics that Influence Student Performance in the First Two Years of Engineering

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session I

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

13

DOI

10.18260/p.26884

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26884

Download Count

112

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Paper Authors

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Bethany B Smith Arizona State University

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Bethany Smith is currently a master’s student in materials science and engineering at Arizona State University. She has been involved in STEM education research since 2012 under the direction of Professor Stephen Krause. Her research interests in STEM education include faculty development, best classroom practices, and improving undergraduate engineering student retention through understanding what makes students leave engineering. She will be pursuing her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering starting in 2016 at the University of California Berkeley.

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Yong Seok Park Arizona State University

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Yong-Seok Park is currently a postdoctoral associate at Arizona State University in the STEM education research group headed by Dr. Krause. He earned his Master’s degree at George Washington University and his Doctorate at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His research interests lie in undergraduate STEM education research and engineering design education.

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Lydia Ross Arizona State University

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Lydia Ross is a doctoral student and graduate research assistant at Arizona State University. She is a first year student in the Educational Policy and Evaluation program.

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Stephen J Krause Arizona State University

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Stephen Krause is professor in the Materials Science Program in the Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University. He teaches in the areas of introductory materials engineering, polymers and composites, and capstone design. His research interests include evaluating conceptual knowledge, misconceptions and technologies to promote conceptual change. He has co-developed a Materials Concept Inventory and a Chemistry Concept Inventory for assessing conceptual knowledge and change for introductory materials science and chemistry classes. He is currently conducting research on NSF projects in two areas. One is studying how strategies of engagement and feedback with support from internet tools and resources affect conceptual change and associated impact on students' attitude, achievement, and persistence. The other is on the factors that promote persistence and success in retention of undergraduate students in engineering. He was a coauthor for best paper award in the Journal of Engineering Education in 2013.

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Ying-Chih Chen Arizona State University

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Ying-Chih Chen is an assistant professor in the Division of Teacher Preparation at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

His research takes two distinct but interrelated paths focused on elementary students’ learning in science and engineering as well as in-service science teachers’ professional development. The first focus involves how language as a learning tool improves students’ conceptual understandings, literacy, and representation competencies in science. His second research focus is on how in-service teachers develop their knowledge for teaching science and engineering in argument-based inquiry classrooms. This research is aimed at developing measures of teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) for adopting the argument-based inquiry approach, as well as developing tools to capture the interactive nature of PCK.

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James A Middleton Arizona State University

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James A. Middleton is Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology at Arizona State University. For the last three years he also held the Elmhurst Energy Chair in STEM education at the University of Birmingham in the UK. Previously, Dr. Middleton was Associate Dean for Research in the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education at Arizona State University, and Director of the Division of Curriculum and Instruction. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992, where he also served in the National Center for Research on Mathematical Sciences Education as a postdoctoral scholar.

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Eugene Judson Arizona State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0002-0124-8476

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Eugene Judson is an Associate Professor of for the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. His past experiences include having been a middle school science teacher, Director of Academic and Instructional Support for the Arizona Department of Education, a research scientist for the Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (CRESMET), and an evaluator for several NSF projects. His first research strand concentrates on the relationship between educational policy and STEM education. His second research strand focuses on studying STEM classroom interactions and subsequent effects on student understanding. He is a co-developer of the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) and his work has been cited more than 1500 times and his publications have been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals such as Science Education and the Journal of Research in Science Teaching.

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Robert J Culbertson

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Robert J. Culbertson is an Associate Professor of Physics. Currently, he teaches introductory mechanics and electrodynamics for physics majors and a course in musical acoustics, which was specifically designed for elementary education majors. He is director of the ASU Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) Project, which strives to produce more and better high school physics teachers. He is also director of Master of Natural Science degree program, a graduate program designed for in-service science teachers. He works on improving persistence of students in STEM majors, especially under-prepared students and students from under-represented groups.

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Casey Jane Ankeny Arizona State University

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Casey J. Ankeny, PhD is lecturer in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. Casey received her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2006 and her doctorate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University in 2012 where she studied the role of shear stress in aortic valve disease. Currently, she is investigating cyber-based student engagement strategies in flipped and traditional biomedical engineering courses. She aspires to understand and improve student attitude, achievement, and persistence in student-centered courses.

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Keith D. Hjelmstad Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus

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Keith D. Hjelmstad is Professor of Civil Engineering in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University.

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Claire Y. Yan University of British Columbia, Okanagan

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Dr. Claire Y. Yan is a senior instructor in the School of Engineering, University of British Columbia, Okanaga. She received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from Xi'an Jiaotong University, China and Ph.D. degree from University of Strathclyde, UK. Prior to joining UBC in 2008, she worked as a research scientist at Ryerson University on various projects in the area of CFD and heat and mass transfer. Dr. Yan has taught a variety of courses including fluid mechanics, fluid machines, mechanics of materials, calculus, and kinematics and dynamic. She has also developed undergraduate fluids laboratories and supervised many capstone projects. Her interest in SoTL is evidence-based teaching strategies, student engagement, faculty development, and teaching and learning communities. Dr. Yan is a registered P.Eng. with APEGBC and has served as reviewer for various international journals.

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Abstract

This is an evidence-based paper based on research that has shown that faculty beliefs influence their classroom practices and that reformed teaching methods like engagement teaching improve student performance and retention in STEM fields. To better understand the relationships between faculty beliefs and practice and student outcomes like performance and attitudes, this research implemented three tools. The first tool is a 24 question guided interview to gauge general beliefs towards teaching; the second is the Approaches to Teaching Inventory (ATI) that measures faculty beliefs towards instructor-centered knowledge transmission and instructor-centered strategies versus student-centered conceptual change intention and strategies. The third is the Reformed Teaching Observational Protocol (RTOP) which is a protocol that quantitatively measures degree of student-centered classroom behaviors. By combining ATI and RTOP scores with emergent theme (ET) analysis on relevant interview questions, faculty characteristics influencing student outcomes can be determined. This work addressees the research questions, “What is the relationship between faculty beliefs and practice?” and “What is the relationship between faculty practice and student outcomes?”

30 faculty members that teach freshman or sophomore level engineering courses at a large, southwestern university were interviewed about their teaching beliefs, were surveyed using the ATI, and were observed using the RTOP. Interview questions were analyzed using emergent theme analysis and related to their ATI responses and RTOP scores. The interview question responses were coded numerically as either teacher-centered (-1), student centered (+1), or mixed/neither (0) using the dimensions of the ATI as a basis. The total RTOP scores, the ATI dimension scores, and the sum of the interview ET analyses for every faculty member were then ranked in ascending order. Using Spearman’s rank correlation, the relationships between the ATI, RTOP, and ET analysis were found. We found that 2 of the 4 dimensions of the ATI were correlated to the ET analysis at the 90% confidence level and that teacher practice was related to ATI. Finally, we examined the grade distributions for the classes that we observed, correlated them to teacher practice, and found that the ratio of the grades ABC to DEW and ABC to DE was higher for the instructors with higher RTOP scores than for instructors with lower RTOP scores. The findings of this study indicate that faculty beliefs and practices are related and that they relate to student performance. It follows that by shifting the beliefs of faculty members towards student-centeredness, there would likely be a positive change in student outcomes.

Smith, B. B., & Park, Y. S., & Ross, L., & Krause, S. J., & Chen, Y., & Middleton, J. A., & Judson, E., & Culbertson, R. J., & Ankeny, C. J., & Hjelmstad, K. D., & Yan, C. Y. (2016, June), Faculty Characteristics that Influence Student Performance in the First Two Years of Engineering Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26884

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: © 2016 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