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Relationship between Course Engagement and Educational Application Engagement in the Context of First-year Engineering Students

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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

First-Year Programs Division Technical Session 14: Introductory Programming Assessment, Plagiarism, Motivation, Engagement, and Textbooks

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Paper Authors


Saira Anwar Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Saira Anwar is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Multidisciplinary Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station. She received her Ph.D. in Engineering Education from the School of Engineering Education, Purdue University, USA. She earned her M.S. in Computer Science with a software engineering concentration from the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Pakistan. Dr. Anwar also holds an M.Sc in Computer Science from Punjab University College of Information Technology, Pakistan. Dr. Anwar is passionate about research and teaching, specifically translating research into evidence-based teaching practices. For her research, she is particularly interested in designing interventions that help develop students' understanding of conceptually hard concepts in STEM courses. She was awarded the 2020 outstanding researcher award by the School of Engineering Education, Purdue University. Also, she is the recipient of Apprentice Faculty Grant Award, 2022 by ERM division, ASEE. Dr. Anwar has over 13 years of teaching experience, including the University of Florida (Department of Engineering Education), Forman Christian College University (Department of Computer Science), and many other higher education institutes in Pakistan. She taught engineering education, computer science, and software engineering courses. She believes in implementing engaging, motivating, and interactive learning experiences through curricular innovation. She was awarded outstanding teacher awards in 2013 and 2006 by her then employers. Also, she was the recipient of the "President of Pakistan Merit and Talent Scholarship" for her undergraduate studies.

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Ahmed Ashraf Butt Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Ahmed Ashraf Butt is a doctoral candidate in the school of engineering education at Purdue University with a multidisciplinary research focus that combines theory and practice in the area of learning science, Human-computer interaction (HCI), and engineering education. His primary research focuses on designing and developing educational technologies that can facilitate different aspects (e.g., engagement) of the students’ learning and provide an engaging experience. Further, he is interested in designing instructional interventions and exploring their relationship with different aspects of first-year engineering (FYE) students’ learning (e.g., motivation and learning strategies). Before Purdue University, he worked as a lecturer for two years at the University of Lahore, Pakistan. Additionally, he has been associated with the software industry in various capacities, from developer to consultant.

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Muhsin Menekse Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Muhsin Menekse is an Associate Professor at Purdue University with a joint appointment in the School of Engineering Education and the Department of Curriculum & Instruction. Dr. Menekse's primary research focuses on exploring K-16 students' engagement and learning of engineering and science concepts by creating innovative instructional resources and conducting interdisciplinary quasi-experimental research studies in and out of classroom environments. Dr. Menekse is the recipient of the 2014 William Elgin Wickenden Award by the American Society for Engineering Education. He is also selected as an NSF SIARM fellow for the advanced research methods for STEM education research. Dr. Menekse received four Seed-for-Success Awards (in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021) from Purdue University's Excellence in Research Awards programs in recognition of obtaining four external grants of $1 million or more during each year. His research has been generously funded by grants from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Purdue Research Foundation (PRF), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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This complete research paper emphasizes the importance of students’ engagement from two perspectives. These perspectives vary based on students’ interaction with learning activities or content and their interaction with the educational applications introduced in the class. This paper examines the relationship between these two engagement perspectives, i.e., students’ engineering course engagement (Course_Eng) and students’ application engagement (App_Eng) in a mobile technology-mediated learning environment. A CourseMIRROR mobile application was introduced in the first-year engineering (FYE) course, which prompted students to write their reflection on lectures’ confusing or interesting points after each class. To collect the data on students’ course engagement, we administered a validated survey at the beginning and the end of the semester (pre-post manner). Students self-reported their course engagement on four dimensions of engagement: behavioral, social, cognitive, and emotional. We calculated the number of times students submitted their reflections for the app engagement in a semester. One hundred and twenty students from a required first-year engineering course participated in this study by self-reporting their course engagement and interaction with the application. We hypothesize and explore whether students’ course engagement has a relationship with their app engagement or not. We analyzed the data using Pearson product-moment correlation to understand the relationships between pre-course engagement, post-course engagement, and app engagement. Furthermore, we conducted linear regressions to understand the relationship between 1) course and application engagement and 2) changes in students’ course engagement and app engagement. The study results indicate that students’ pre-behavioral and pre-cognitive engagement significantly correlate with students’ app engagement. Also, the study highlights the insignificant relationship of students’ social engagement, emotional engagement, and app engagement posts using the application. Further, both students’ pre-behavior and pre-cognitive engagement are predictors of students’ app engagement, while changes in students’ cognitive engagement (from pre to post) also significantly predict students’ app engagement. We discuss these results in light of implications, limitations, and future directions.

Anwar, S., & Butt, A. A., & Menekse, M. (2022, August), Relationship between Course Engagement and Educational Application Engagement in the Context of First-year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. 10.18260/1-2--41529

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