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Integrating Innovation Curriculum: Measuring Student Innovation to Assess Course and Program Effectiveness

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

ENT Division Technical Session: Creativity and Innovation

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

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Paper Authors


Karl D. Schubert University of Arkansas Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Karl D. Schubert is a Professor of Practice and Director of Research for Innovation and Data Science Initiatives for the College of Engineering and the Sam M. Walton College of Business in the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas. His academic research focuses on providing Innovation programs for STEM education; and, student, faculty and industry innovation engagement. Schubert also serves as a consultant specializing in innovation, entrepreneurship, technology and organizational optimization for new and ongoing companies. Karl earned his bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the U of A, his master's in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky, and his Ph.D. in Engineering from the U of A. Karl has been awarded 9 US and International patents and is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET). He also has 35 years of industry experience including serving as a CIO, CTO and COO for start-ups, mid-size, and enterprise companies such as IBM, Dell and Lifetouch.

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Kristie Neff Moergen University of Arkansas

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Kristie Moeren is a PhD student in Management in the Walton College of Business (University of Arkansas). She has her M.A. in Counseling and taught at the undergraduate level for five years prior to beginning her doctorate. Her research areas include organizational behavior, creativity and innovation, social networks and social issues in the workplace.

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Carol S. Gattis University of Arkansas

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Dr. Carol Gattis is the Associate Dean Emeritus of the Honors College and an adjunct Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Arkansas. Her academic research focuses on STEM education, developing programs for the recruitment, retention and graduation of a diverse population of students. Carol also serves as a consultant specializing in new program development. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the U of A and has served on the industrial engineering faculty since 1991.

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Wen-Juo Lo University of Arkansas

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Dr. Wen-Juo Lo is an Associate Professor in the Educational Statistics and Research Methodology (ESRM) program at the University of Arkansas. His research interests involve methodological issues related to analyses with a focus on psychometric methods. The recent research agenda concentrates statistical methods for the detection of bias in psychological measurement, especially measurement invariance on latent factor models. In addition, he also conducts research to develop effective latent variable model and instrument that reflects the factors of college students’ retention.

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The USA is falling behind other nations in innovation, creating serious threat to the health, stability, and influence of our country. Industry is desperate to hire engineers able to innovate, and universities are developing programs to instill the innovative mindset required to improve global competitiveness [1].

Innovation requires collaboration between engineering, business, and creativity to realistically prepare students to be innovators. Researchers at the ---'s College of Engineering and --- College of Business collaborate to understand major challenges of introducing and integrating innovation into engineering curriculum and pedagogy. They are researching topics, approaches, and specific learning environments that result in student proficiency.

Innovativeness is multifaceted and unfolds over time. Assessing the current and evolving environment and ecosystem (courses and programs) allows researchers to understand what factors cause or affect improvements. This could significantly improve the development and practice of the innovative mindset in students and provide basic insights into developing effective teaching strategies and training methods to cultivate innovative faculty.

Based on theoretical grounding, the researchers compiled a comprehensive set of measures designed to quantify student participants’ individual differences in innovative capacity and behavior. Drawing from seminal works on creativity and contemporary innovation inventories, the intent of the survey is to capture pre- and post-intervention levels of student innovation. In concert with quantitative measures that have demonstrated good validity and reliability, the survey includes qualitative measures aimed at understanding students’ idiosyncratic conceptualization of innovation, and its relationship to their career aspirations.

The survey was administered to undergraduate students. Three potential innovation styles (as an outcome, a process, and a mindset) are tested before and after program intervention and compared with the control group. Baseline survey results of are presented in the paper. Data collection will continue in late Spring 2020, and the data will be analyzed and presented at the conference. The intention for this study is twofold: 1) investigation of potential program impacts on students’ innovative capacity and behavior, and 2) evaluation of the associations between students’ perceived innovation and academic performance and the differences between groups. This paper presents the need for developing engineering innovators, literature supporting the survey developed, information on the survey, results, and analyses.

References [1] Harrington, H. & Voehl, F. (Eds.). (2016). The Innovation tools handbook, Volume 1: Organizational and operational. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group. &f=false.

Schubert, K. D., & Moergen, K. N., & Gattis, C. S., & Lo, W. (2020, June), Integrating Innovation Curriculum: Measuring Student Innovation to Assess Course and Program Effectiveness Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34844

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