March 27, 2020
March 27, 2020
March 28, 2020
First-semester, first-year engineering students at a mid-sized, Mid-Atlantic public university are required to take a multidisciplinary introduction to engineering course that is offered in sections of 20-24 students. Approximately ⅓ of these students are members of the Engineering Learning Community (ELC), which provides housing in a common location as well as additional supports in the form of weekly group meetings with a student mentor and access to tutoring. Another ⅙ of students were in sections designated as Honors. In Fall 2017, weekly reflections were implemented in this course as a way of encouraging students to explain past experiences and learn from their mistakes. In Fall 2018, the weekly reflection prompts were reduced to biweekly reflections, the first and last of which required students to reflect on themselves as learners. This study used provisional and in-vivo coding to analyze paired reflections from 116 students. Ten total themes were identified and used to characterize each reflection, with interrater reliabilities (quantified by Cohen’s Kappa) of 0.564 and 0.668 for the two pairs of researchers who analyzed this data. The top three themes for each group of students (ELC, Honors, and Non-Honors & Non-ELC) were determined and the representation of this data discussed. Results showed for the beginning of the semester, “Learning” was the top theme for all three groups of students. At the end of the semester, the top theme for all groups was “Time Management Balance”. Through this study, the change of students’ perceptions of themselves as learners at the beginning and end of their first semester was analyzed and is illustrated by, among other things, the change in the top theme highlighted above.
Brown, A. R., & Cerefin, B., & Gallo, L., & Ramsey, S., & Mallouk, K. (2020, March), How First-Year Students’ Reflections on Themselves as Learners Change Over Time Paper presented at 2020 Mid-Atlantic Spring Conference, Baltimore, Maryland. https://peer.asee.org/33938
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