Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
For many students, first-year engineering (FYE) courses are their first exposure to engineering. It is important that FYE course instructors and administrators are mindful of course design and how FYE courses impact students’ initial engineering experience. Extensive literature exists explaining how various FYE programs are structured, but there is far less literature that explores the impact of FYE content, structure, and timing on students’ experiences.
Our work contributes to the literature by examining how students develop their engineering identities within two FYE frameworks with different content, structure, and timing. We are also examining how different types of FYE experiences impact the engineering communities students build throughout their college experience. Our project compares both traditional and non-traditional students from two separate institutions including a subpopulation of students from each institutions’ regional campuses. To date, we have conducted two phases of interviews. The first phase was conducted in the spring of 2018 and included 29 student interviews. Students of various first-year pathways, races, and genders were selected to ensure sample diversity. During the initial interviews, students were asked questions related to their FYE experience, communities of people they were involved with, and their identity as an engineer. The second phase of interviews was conducted in the spring of 2019 with 23 student interviews. Of the 23 second phase interviews, 16 of those were students participated in both phase one and phase two interviews. In the second phase, we asked follow-up questions related to the topics of identity and community. We also asked students to describe any changes since we last spoke to them. Both phases of interviews were coded in the summer of 2019. In order to have a deeper understanding of each students’ development of engineering identity with respect to the communities, we will conduct a third phase of interviews in Spring 2020.
This executive summary discusses what has been completed to date in this project, focusing on our processes and findings related to creating longitudinal memos to support the third phase interviews. The questions for the third phase interviews will be more personalized than prior interviews and allow us to clarify initial findings from the first and second phase. In order to prepare for the third phase, longitudinal memos of the 16 repeating participants were created to track participant development over time. These memos consisted of summaries of both interviews and researcher notes on participants relating to identity and community. For example, researcher notes include information about what seemed most important to the participant in each interview and what had changed about the participant from one interview to the next.
The memos were created with a goal of developing more targeted questions necessary for phase three interviews. The memos enrich what we know about each individual student’s experience allowing us to extract meaning from the transcripts more holistically. Ultimately, through this work, we hope that understanding the students’ experiences can better inform the ways FYE is created to increase positive impacts on engineering identity and community development.
Wallwey, C., & Clark, A., & Sassi, S., & Elmore, K., & Kajfez, R. L., & Mohammadi-Aragh, M. J., & Doty, A. N. (2020, June), Longitudinal Memos Investigating First-year Engineering Pathways Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34932
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