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Integration of Academic Advising into a First-year Engineering Design Course and Its Impact on Psychological Constructs

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

First-year Programs Division Technical Session 4: The Best of the All: FPD Best Papers

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.995.1 - 26.995.13



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Paper Authors


William H Guilford University of Virginia Orcid 16x16

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Will Guilford is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. He is also the Undergraduate Program Director for Biomedical Engineering, and the Associate Dean for Online Innovation. He received his B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from St. Francis College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and his Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Arizona. Will did his postdoctoral training in Molecular Biophysics at the University of Vermont under David Warshaw. His research interests include novel assessments of educational efficacy, and the molecular bases of cell movement and muscle contraction.

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Anna Stevenson Blazier University of Virginia

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Alyssa Becker University of Virginia

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Integration of academic advising into a first year engineering design course and its impact on psychometricsEngineering educators often look to imbue students with behaviors or traits beyond theretention and recall of knowledge, or the understanding of concepts. Among thesedesirable traits and behaviors are grit, curiosity, creativity, and self-efficacy. However,these are seldom measured to determine whether they are being influenced by academicinterventions.We sought to answer two questions: (1) similar to knowledge and comprehension, are grit,curiosity, creativity, and self-efficacy mutable by an active educational environment, and(2) does a learning environment that places additional emphasis on academic advisingoffer additional benefit in bolstering these traits?Two sections of an introductory engineering design course are being studied, each withthe same instructor, to determine if learning environment affects the above four traits aswell as the engineering skills of students over the course of a single semester. One sectionemphasizes in-class discussion and advising, while the other section gives an equivalenttime to team meetings (control). Both sections of the course are centered on intensivedesign-build activities. The instructor serves as the academic advisor for each of thestudents in the advising-intensive section, meets with them individually, requiresattendance of five events to expand their utilization of campus resources, andincorporates discussions of pedagogy, choice of engineering major, and other topics.Psychometric assessments are being delivered twice – once at the beginning and once atthe end of the fall 2014 semester. These include the 12-item “Grit scale” (Duckworth etal., 2007), the 10-item “Curiosity and Exploration Inventory” (Kashdan et al., 2009), thethe 36-item “Engineering design self-efficacy instrument” (Carberry et al., 2010), the“Incomplete figures” variant of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (Barron F., 1958),and a test of engineering design process knowledge (Bailey and Szabo, 2005).We hypothesize that the intensive hands-on building will enhance grit, self-efficacy, andknowledge of the design process in both sections, while the advising-intensive sectionwill gain in curiosity and creativity relative to control.

Guilford, W. H., & Blazier, A. S., & Becker, A. (2015, June), Integration of Academic Advising into a First-year Engineering Design Course and Its Impact on Psychological Constructs Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24332

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