Asee peer logo

Learning in Clusters: Exploring the Association Between Noncognitive and Affective Profiles of Engineering Students and Academic Performance

Download Paper |

Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Data-informed Approaches to Understanding Student Experiences and Outcomes

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

13

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34901

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34901

Download Count

90

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

John Chen California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

visit author page

John Chen is a professor of mechanical engineering at Cal Poly. His interests in engineering education include conceptual learning, conceptual change, student autonomy and motivation, lifelong learning skills and behaviors, and non-cognitive factors that lead to student success. Prior to joining the faculty at Cal Poly, he was a faculty member at Rowan University.

visit author page

biography

Jenna Michelle Landy California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

visit author page

Jenna Landy is a senior at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, graduating in June 2020 with a Bachelor's degree in Statistics and a minor in Data Science. In her third year, she began working with this group carrying out statistical analysis of survey data and has enjoyed learning more about engineering education.

visit author page

biography

Matthew Scheidt Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6779-1992

visit author page

Matthew Scheidt is a Ph.D. candidate in Engineering Education at Purdue University. He graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University with a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing. Matt is currently part of Dr. Allison Godwin’s STRIDE (Shaping Transformative Research on Identity and Diversity in Engineering) research group at Purdue. Matt’s research interests include engineering student success, both quantitatively and qualitatively. He is also interested in military veterans' success in engineering

visit author page

biography

Justin Charles Major Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3111-8509

visit author page

Justin C. Major is a fourth-year Ph.D Candidate and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in the Purdue University Engineering Education Program. As an undergraduate student at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), Justin completed Bachelor's degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Secondary Mathematics Education with an informal emphasis in engineering education. Through his involvement in the UNR PRiDE Research Lab and engagement with the UNR and Northern Nevada STEM Education communities, he studied student motivation, active learning, and diversity; developed K-12 engineering education curriculum; and advocated for socioeconomically just access to STEM education. As a Ph.D. Candidate with the STRiDE Research Lab at Purdue University, Justin's dissertation research focuses on the study of Intersectionality Theory and the intersectionality of socioeconomic inequality in engineering education, use of critical quantitative methodology and narrative inquiry to understand the complex stories of engineering students from traditionally minoritized backgrounds, and the pursuit of a socioeconomically just engineering education.

visit author page

biography

Julianna Ge Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0084-951X

visit author page

Julianna Ge is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. At Purdue, she created and currently teaches a novel course for undergraduate engineering students to explore the intersections of wellbeing, leadership, diversity and inclusion. As an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, her research interests intersect the fields of engineering education, positive psychology, and human development to understand diversity, inclusion, and success for undergraduate engineering students. Prior to Purdue, she received dual bachelor’s degrees in Industrial Engineering and Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her prior work experiences include product management, consulting, tutoring, marketing, and information technology.

visit author page

biography

Camaryn Elizabeth Chambers California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

visit author page

I am a 4th year mechanical engineering major at Cal Poly, and I'm interested in the aerospace industry. I am a part of Tau Beta Pi and the Society of Women Engineers on campus. My hometown is Hood River, OR where I love to ski, play tennis, and spend time with my friends, family and dogs.

visit author page

author page

Christina Grigorian

biography

Michelle Kerfs California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

visit author page

Michelle is a third year statistics and data science student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She recently joined this research team and is excited by what they can discover! She enjoys learning more about data analysis but in her free time also loves running, hiking, and any type of arts and crafts.

visit author page

biography

Edward J. Berger Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0337-7607

visit author page

Edward Berger is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education and Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, joining Purdue in August 2014. He has been teaching mechanics for over 20 years, and has worked extensively on the integration and assessment of specific technology interventions in mechanics classes. He was one of the co-leaders in 2013-2014 of the ASEE Virtual Community of Practice (VCP) for mechanics educators across the country. His current research focuses on student problem-solving processes and use of worked examples, change models and evidence-based teaching practices in engineering curricula, and the role of non-cognitive and affective factors in student academic outcomes and overall success.

visit author page

biography

Allison Godwin Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0741-3356

visit author page

Allison Godwin, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Her research focuses what factors influence diverse students to choose engineering and stay in engineering through their careers and how different experiences within the practice and culture of engineering foster or hinder belongingness and identity development. Dr. Godwin graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D. in Engineering and Science Education. Her research earned her a National Science Foundation CAREER Award focused on characterizing latent diversity, which includes diverse attitudes, mindsets, and approaches to learning, to understand engineering students’ identity development. She has won several awards for her research including the 2016 American Society of Engineering Education Educational Research and Methods Division Best Paper Award and the 2018 Benjamin J. Dasher Best Paper Award for the IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference. She has also been recognized for the synergy of research and teaching as an invited participant of the 2016 National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium and the Purdue University 2018 recipient of School of Engineering Education Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the 2018 College of Engineering Exceptional Early Career Teaching Award.

visit author page

biography

Brian P. Self California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

visit author page

Brian Self obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Engineering Mechanics from Virginia Tech, and his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Utah. He worked in the Air Force Research Laboratories before teaching at the U.S. Air Force Academy for seven years. Brian has taught in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo since 2006. During the 2011-2012 academic year he participated in a professor exchange, teaching at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. His engineering education interests include collaborating on the Dynamics Concept Inventory, developing model-eliciting activities in mechanical engineering courses, inquiry-based learning in mechanics, and design projects to help promote adapted physical activities. Other professional interests include aviation physiology and biomechanics.

visit author page

biography

James M. Widmann California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

visit author page

Jim Widmann is a professor and chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He received his Ph.D. in 1994 from Stanford University and has served as a Fulbright Scholar at Kathmandu University it Nepal. At Cal Poly, he teaches the College of Engineering's interdisciplinary, industry sponsored, senior project class as well as course in mechanics and design. He also conducts research in the areas of creative design, machine design, fluid power control, and engineering education.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

This research paper explores the role of non-cognitive and affective (NCA) factors in influencing student achievement and thriving. The research team has developed and deployed a survey with evidence of validity and reliability to measure 28 NCA factors from n=2339 undergraduates at 17 U.S. institutions nationally. The factors examined include personality, grit, meaning and purpose, engineering identity, mindset, motivation, test anxiety, test and study environment, perceptions of faculty caring, self-control, stress, gratitude, mindfulness, and sense of belonging. While there are a myriad of ways to characterize each student’s NCA profile, a recently completed cluster analysis using Gaussian Mixture Modeling has identified five distinct clusters of students using these NCA factors, which accounted for 50.8% of participants. In summary, the five clusters can be described as (i) the normative cluster, (ii) high positive NCA factors but experiencing stress, (iii) future-oriented but disconnected from engineering, (iv) disengaged from engineering, faculty and peers, and (v) low stress and supported.

A preliminary analysis indicated that membership within any of the five clusters was only weakly, if at all, associated with academic performance, as measured by self-reported, overall grade-point-average (GPA). In this study we explore this association in more detailed and nuanced ways to assess whether (a) cluster membership is truly unassociated with academic performance; i.e., students can achieve academically while having various NCA cluster profiles, or (b) one or more clusters is associated with differential academic performance. If the finding is the latter, the results would naturally suggest the need for interventions to support those students whose profiles may predict poor academic outcomes. Finally, we acknowledge that achievement or thriving by undergraduate engineering students cannot be simply measured by the GPA when, obviously, many other factors are at play. This study is necessary, however, since academic performance is currently the predominant measure of progress and achievement in higher education.

Chen, J., & Landy, J. M., & Scheidt, M., & Major, J. C., & Ge, J., & Chambers, C. E., & Grigorian, C., & Kerfs, M., & Berger, E. J., & Godwin, A., & Self, B. P., & Widmann, J. M. (2020, June), Learning in Clusters: Exploring the Association Between Noncognitive and Affective Profiles of Engineering Students and Academic Performance Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34901

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015