June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.785.1 - 24.785.16
Integration of ePortfolios in a First-Year Engineering Course for Measuring Student EngagementFor the past 3 years, the First-Year Engineering Program at a medium sized, Midwestern privateinstitution has used electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) as an assessment tool for their Introductionto Engineering course sequence. While each year the ePortfolio assignments have expanded, theyhave been focused largely in three types of reflections: (1) student experiences within the collegebut outside of the course, (2) the skills gained specifically through course projects, and (3) theirfour year plan to be a successful engineering student as defined by the ABET a-k criteria.ePortfolio assignments were initially included to allow students to reflect on their education,develop evidence of their blossoming skills, and take control of their graduation plan. After thefirst year of practice, there was a clear secondary benefit to the faculty and student advisors.Anecdotally, student reflections provide faculty with a measure of student engagement with thecourse and even possibly indicated retention into their sophomore year. For this reason, a moreformal assessment was needed to determine if student engagement could be measured throughePortfolio reflections.While students are engaged with their ePortfolios, data that describes their interaction with theePortfolio (number of times they log in, number of artifacts they submit, hits, comments, etc.) iscontinually collected. This paper will focus on: (1) how ePortfolios have been folded into theIntroduction to Engineering course sequence, (2) if student reflections can be used as a measureof engagement and engineering interest, and (3) what markers within an ePortfolio can predictstudent retention. Specifically, study measures will consist of: (1) instructor categorization ofstudent reflections and evidence types used and (2) assessment of the ePortfolio data featuresdescribed above as they relate to student retention through the first year. Specifically, ePortfoliodata features are continually collected through the use of a computational mining tool. In aninitial study of the fall 2012 semester data, students who left the engineering track after onesemester had an average of 12.7 logins to the ePortfolio system. Students who left theengineering track after two semesters and students who persisted into the sophomore year had asignificantly larger average number of logins, with 18.7 and 19.1, respectively. Future plansinclude deeper exploration of ePortfolio features as markers of student interest in engineering,specifically identifying students by mid-semester that are at risk for prematurely leaving theengineering track and deploying intervention strategies for those students.
Goodrich, V. E., & Aguiar, E. M. D., & Ambrose, G. A., & McWilliams, L. H., & Brockman, J. B., & Chawla, N. (2014, June), Integration of ePortfolios in a First-Year Engineering Course for Measuring Student Engagement Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/20677
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