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From Pie To Apples: The Evolution Of A Survey Instrument To Explore Engineering Student Pathways

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Conference

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

SPECIAL SESSION: Describing the Engineering Student Learning Experience Based on CAEE Findings: Part 1

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

13.633.1 - 13.633.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/3636

Download Count

31

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Paper Authors

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Helen Chen Stanford University

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Krista Donaldson Stanford University

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Ozgur Eris Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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Debbie Chachra Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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Gary Lichtenstein Stanford University

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Sheri Sheppard Stanford University

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George Toye Stanford University

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

From PIE to APPLES: The Evolution of a Survey Instrument to Explore Engineering Student Pathways

Abstract

The Academic Pathways Study (APS) of the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE) is a cross-university study that systematically examines how engineering students navigate their education, and how engineering skills and identity develop during the undergraduate period. Through the collective work of the APS, two instruments have emerged – the Persistence in Engineering (PIE) survey and the Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey (APPLES). This paper describes the redesign of the longitudinal PIE survey instrument for the cross-sectional administrations of APPLES as informed by emerging findings from other APS methods. We discuss the challenges of the evolution of PIE and APPLES while addressing the comparability of these instruments to each other, and outline plans for future APPLES deployments and analyses.

Introduction/Background

The Academic Pathways Study (APS) of the NSF-funded Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE) is a cross-university study that systematically examines how engineering students navigate their education, and how engineering skills and identity develop during their undergraduate careers1,2. APS research falls under the umbrella of the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE) whose goals are to:

1. Identify ways to boost the numbers of students who complete engineering degrees (including increasing the numbers of women and traditionally underrepresented groups) 2. Better support those enrolled in engineering programs 3. Encourage greater numbers of students who complete engineering degrees to enter engineering professions

APS addresses the following fundamental research questions: • SKILLS: How do students’ engineering skills and knowledge develop and/or change over time? How do the technological and mathematical fluencies of engineering students compare with those found in professional engineering settings? • IDENTITY: How do these students come to identify themselves as engineers? How do students’ appreciation, confidence, and commitment to engineering change as they navigate their education? How does this in turn affect how these students make decisions about further participation in engineering after graduation? • EDUCATION: What elements of students’ engineering education contribute to the changes observed in questions one and two? What do students find difficult and how do they deal with the difficulties they face?

Chen, H., & Donaldson, K., & Eris, O., & Chachra, D., & Lichtenstein, G., & Sheppard, S., & Toye, G. (2008, June), From Pie To Apples: The Evolution Of A Survey Instrument To Explore Engineering Student Pathways Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3636

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