Asee peer logo

More To Say: Analyzing Open Ended Student Responses To The Academic Pathways Of People Learning Engineering Survey

Download Paper |

Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Modeling Student Data

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

14.887.1 - 14.887.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/5188

Download Count

44

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Micah Lande Stanford University

visit author page

Micah Lande is a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering and Design at the Center for Design Research at Stanford University. He is researching how engineers learn and apply a design process to their work. Micah is a co-Editor-in-Chief of Ambidextrous, Stanford University's Journal in Design. His academic interests include design and engineering education, design thinking and foresight thinking, creativity and innovation, and interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity in higher education. Micah is a 2009 ASEE-ERM Apprentice Faculty Grant recipient. He has a B.S in Engineering from Stanford's Product Design program and has a M.A. in Education from the Stanford School of Education program in Learning, Design and Technology.

visit author page

biography

Sarah Parikh Stanford University

visit author page

Sarah Parikh is a third year graduate student at Stanford University working on her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Engineering Education. She received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006 and received a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on microscale heat transfer from Stanford University in 2008.

visit author page

biography

Sheri Sheppard Stanford University

visit author page

Sheri D. Sheppard is the Burton J. and Deedee McMurtry University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She is also a consulting senior scholar at the Carnegie Foundation, having directed the Preparations for the Professions Program (PPP) engineering study, and co-authored the study's report Educating Engineers: Designing for the Future of the Field (2008). Before coming to Stanford University, she held several positions in the automotive industry, including senior research engineer at Ford Motor Company's Scientific Research Lab. She earned a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan.

visit author page

biography

George Toye Stanford University

visit author page

George Toye is a Consulting Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. Engineering and education have been his foundation interests. He has served as Associate Directors of Stanford's Center for Design Research and the Stanford Learning Lab (now known as the Stanford Center for Innovation in Learning). Today, although also actively involved as consultant in a variety of technology sectors, education remains a central theme in his academic and entrepreneurial activities. George earned a Ph.D. at Stanford University for his work on management of non-homogeneous redundancy in fault tolerant electromechanical systems design.

visit author page

biography

Helen Chen Stanford University

visit author page

Helen L. Chen is Research Scientist at the Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning and Research Associate in the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education. Her current research interests focus on the application of ePortfolio pedagogy and practices to facilitate teaching, learning, and assessment for students, faculty, and institutions. She is also interested in the exploration of the affordances and scalability of these kinds of social software tools and their implications for the design and evaluation of innovative learning spaces to support formal and informal learning.

visit author page

biography

Krista Donaldson Stanford University

visit author page

Krista Donaldson is a Researcher and Lecturer at Stanford University. Her interests include design and development, reconstruction and engineering education. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford in Mechanical Engineering and Design where her work focused on product development to promote economic growth in less industrialized economies. Krista has taught at Kenyatta University and the University of Cape Town, and worked as an engineer and designer in a variety of capacities. She is the author of the Engineering Student Survival Guide.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

More to Say: Analyzing Open-Ended Student Responses to the Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey

Keywords – Open-ended Survey Responses, Student Academic Experiences

Abstract

A final, optional open-ended question in the Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey (APPLES) that asked “Is there anything else you want to tell us that we didn’t already cover?” elicited free form responses from 37 percent of the 4,266 survey participants. This paper explores their responses. After data cleaning, 880 responses were anonymized by individual and institution. The responses were rated on a numeric value (1-5) ranging from negative (criticizing) to neutral to positive (complementing). Responses were also coded using an emerging thematic coding scheme. The emergent topics were organized by whether the comments addressed school or individual issues. Topics suggested by the open- ended responses related to the School category were: Advising, Co-op, Gender, Social and Teaching (Curriculum) and Teaching (Language). These responses were mostly found to the extremes, both positive and negative, of the scale of positive/negative comments. Topics suggested by the open-ended responses related to the Individual Beliefs category were: (engineering as a) Calling, Challenge, Future, Lifestyle, Money and Understanding. These responses were mostly found to be neutral on the scale of positive/negative comments. Our analysis showed that the subjects’ open-ended responses added qualitatively to student-voiced passions, concerns and experiences that could not be easily captured in a multiple choice question format.

Introduction

The APPLE Survey (or APPLES – Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey) is a 10-minute online survey offered to undergraduate engineering students. This instrument was one research component of the Academic Pathways Study (APS), a branch of the NSF-funded Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education that seeks to understand academic and professional persistence in engineering. APPLES focused on understanding how students at American institutions navigate their undergraduate education to become engineers, and considered their backgrounds, experiences and decisions.

The APPLES instrument is based on the Persistence in Engineering (PIE) survey1,2 that was administered as part of APS longitudinal research with 160 students at four universities from 2003 to 2007. The first administration of APPLES (“APPLES1”) took place at the four APS institutions in 2007.3,4 A modified version of the survey (“APPLES2”) was administered at 21 American universities in Spring 2008.5

This second APPLES instrument asked 49 multiple choice and 1 open-ended question. Multiple choice questions were carefully designed to gather information around well-conceived items that

Lande, M., & Parikh, S., & Sheppard, S., & Toye, G., & Chen, H., & Donaldson, K. (2009, June), More To Say: Analyzing Open Ended Student Responses To The Academic Pathways Of People Learning Engineering Survey Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5188

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: © 2009 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