June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Educational Research and Methods
13.633.1 - 13.633.12
From PIE to APPLES: The Evolution of a Survey Instrument to Explore Engineering Student Pathways
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.
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. 10.18260/1-2--3636
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