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Motivations and Learning Outcomes: The Profile of Professional Engineering Doctorates

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 4

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Tongjie Ju Shanghai Jiao Tong University

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Miss Tongjie Ju, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Tongjie Ju received a Bachelor’s degree in public administration from East China University of Science and Technology (2019), and is studying for a Master’s degree in education at SJTU. Her research interest includes cooperative education, internship and professional engineering doctorates.

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Jiabin Zhu Shanghai Jiao Tong University

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Jiabin Zhu is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Her primary research interests relate to the assessment of teaching and learning in engineering, cognitive development of graduate and undergraduate students, and global engineering. She received her Ph.D. from the School of Engineering Education, Purdue University in 2013.

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Abstract The development of the economy calls for large numbers of high-quality engineering talents, who can stand in the forefront of science and technology, and lead the transformation of technological advances into applications. Despite the call to diversify the training of Philosophy Doctors (Ph.D.s) to prepare them for multiple career paths, Ph.D. training still remains as the main venue for the training of high-level academic talents. To produce more application-oriented engineers, an increasing number of professional engineering doctorate degree programs (awarding Engineering Doctor degrees, Eng.D.) emerged, targeting to training high-level innovative and application-oriented talents. Based on different training purposes, the motivations and expectations of an Engineering Doctor degree are different. These will affect students’ engagements and learning outcomes, especially part-time students. Focusing on a leading Chinese research intensive university H, this work-in-progress examines part-time professional engineering doctorates’ motivations and expectations of their program and learning outcomes during the program. A questionnaire and follow-up one-on-one interviews were used to collect data. Preliminary findings suggested that the main motivation of part-time doctoral students was to improve theoretical knowledge and professional competence. Meanwhile, part-time doctoral students' understanding of basic knowledge and cutting-edge knowledge in the engineering field had increased significantly. This study provides an understanding of the motivations and learning outcomes of these part-time engineering doctorate students. Practical suggestions will be proposed for improving the training system for engineering doctorates.

Ju, T., & Zhu, J. (2021, July), Motivations and Learning Outcomes: The Profile of Professional Engineering Doctorates Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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