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Investigating First-Year Engineering Students' Educational Technology Use and Academic Achievement: Development and Validation of an Assessment Tool

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Assessment I: Developing Assessment Tools

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Leroy L. Long III Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach

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Dr. Leroy L. Long III is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Fundamentals at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL. He earned his PhD in STEM Education with a focus on Engineering Education within the Department of Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University (OSU). He earned his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering at OSU and his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering at Wright State University. He is a native of Dayton, OH and a graduate of Dayton Public Schools.

Dr. Long’s research interests include: (a) technology use, (b) diversity and inclusion, and (c) retention and success, with a particular focus on students in STEM fields. He has conducted and published research with the Movement Lab and Center for Higher Education Enterprise at OSU.

Dr. Long has taught undergraduates in the First-Year Engineering Program and Department of Mechanical Engineering at OSU and served as a facilitator for both the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Young Scholars Program at OSU. Furthermore, he has worked in industry at Toyota and has a high record of service with organizations such as the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) and National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). To contact Dr. Long, email:

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Increasing the number of Americans who graduate with a degree in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is of compelling national interest as the world is becoming more technologically-dependent. As society changes there is a continual need for new devices, tools, and services. Therefore, what is represented as “technology” constantly changes. The underlying meaning of technology is fairly stable, but the term is employed differently across context and application. In society, a variety of technologies are used to provide people with things like food, healthcare, shelter, transportation, and entertainment. In educational settings, computers and other information technologies help individuals learn, teach, and communicate. Since technology is ever-changing and context-specific, this paper describes the development and validation of a particular assessment tool – one focused on the specific types of and ways that educational technology is used by first-year engineering students (FYES). More specifically, the assessment tool was used in an investigation of the relationship between first-year engineering students’ perceived (a) knowledge, (b) usefulness, as well as (c) frequency and nature of use of technology and their academic achievement (i.e., grades). Differences were analyzed by race/ethnicity and gender. After distributing the assessment tool and collecting data from nearly 500 students, results revealed there are significant racial/ethnic differences in FYES’ perceived usefulness as well as frequency and nature of use of technology. There are also significant gender differences in FYES’ perceived knowledge and usefulness of technology. Furthermore, FYES’ background characteristics significantly predict their final course grades in the second of two introductory engineering courses.

Long, L. L. (2016, June), Investigating First-Year Engineering Students' Educational Technology Use and Academic Achievement: Development and Validation of an Assessment Tool Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27322

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