Salt Lake City, Utah
June 20, 2004
June 20, 2004
June 23, 2004
9.686.1 - 9.686.18
Impacts of a Combined Living-Learning Community on Attitudes and College Engagement of Engineering Freshmen
Jennifer Light, Denny C. Davis
College of Engineering & Architecture, Washington State University,
Preparation for a diverse workforce of engineering graduates suited for professional practice or graduate school is a major challenge to engineering educators. Immense challenges occur during student’s first year in higher education where high attrition typically occurs among prospective engineering students. A living-learning community model was developed for engineering students at Washington State University combing residential and academic learning community features as a means for improving retention and academic success in engineering. Living-learning community freshmen shared four classes, lived in a common residence hall, and engaged in facilitated group activities. Self-reporting surveys were used to document attitudes and activities of both learning community and control students at the start and end of their first semester. Results indicated that the living-learning community offers significant benefits toward achieving important goals of these students and produces more positive attitudes about engineering.
The purpose of this study was to assess changes in affective and behavioral aspects of student learning during and after participating in a living-learning community (LLC) for engineering freshmen. Common assessments of learning communities regularly include grade point average and retention, and this study is no different; however, an additional measure of attitudes and affective learning attributes as well as satisfaction with their living-learning community was also part of the assessment. It is the latter assessment that is detailed in this paper. Survey results from LLC students and their non-participating peers were compared and reported along with an evaluation of the survey itself (a copy of the survey is included in the Appendix).
Measuring the attitudes and behaviors of students is an often overlooked but extremely important element of learning that occurs during college.1, 2, 3, 4 Common markers of success – grades and retention – do not give a complete picture of a student’s learning. Recently a movement to measure the “missing” aspect of student learning has emerged. Several national instruments including the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), College Student Experience Questionnaire (CSEQ), and the Community College Survey of Student Engagement Proceedings of the 2004 American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright©2004, American Society of Engineering Education
Davis, D., & Light, J. (2004, June), Impacts Of A Combined Living Learning Community On Attitudes And College Engagement Of Engineering Freshmen Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/14015
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