Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Educational Research and Methods
Most engineering schools implement retention-based student success models to monitor student expectations and levels of satisfaction. Yet many educators still question whether undergraduate students can handle the rigour of their studies. Without explicit monitoring, unless students ask for help, educators do not always know what strategies they use or how successful those strategies are. There are a number of theoretical frameworks of student success, each of which emphasizes different contributing factors (Habley et al, 2012). At the institutional level, focus tends to be on the organizational aspects related to retention, while individual stakeholders may focus on sociological, cultural, or economic factors. Goodwin and Hein identify three characteristics associated with student success: (1) a can-do attitude, (2) self-discipline and study habits, and (3) active learning. Bean and Eaton's work focuses on the second characteristic, considering student success from a psychological perspective and looking at the ways in which students approach, or avoid, their studies.
Building on Bean and Eaton's work, engineering students enrolled in one of Canada’s smaller engineering schools were invited to complete an online survey examining the types of strategies they use in order to be successful. A set of forced-choice questions were used to rank strategies related to class time, completing assigned work, note taking, studying, and overall work ethic. This technique was selected to minimize the chances of students faking or biasing their responses. These responses were also validated using a set of related Likert scale questions. Finally, a set of open ended questions allowed students to identify strategies they believe contribute to or impede their success.
Data will be categorized to identify commonly used strategies, and each student's practices compared to their grade point average (GPA). Results will inform educators about students' current learning and study practices. Analysis of the data will show whether students are habitually using evidence-based strategies to enhance their academic success, and whether those efforts enable them to achieve higher levels of success as measured by their GPA.
Nelson, N., & Brennan, R. W. (2020, June), Student Learning Strategies: Helping or Hindering Their Success? Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35226
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