June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Educational Research and Methods
15.1132.1 - 15.1132.23
STUDENTS IMPROVING: IDENTIFYING FACTORS THAT SEEM TO MATTER
In this paper we explore engineering student gains in confidence in professional and interpersonal skills and intrinsic psychological motivation to study engineering. These two factors were selected because they have been shown in other work from the Academic Pathways Study (APS) sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE) to be directly related to post-graduation plans and to several dimensions of the undergraduate experience. We focus on students with positive confidence and/or motivation gains during their first two years of college, and show that these students are distinct from those with negative or no gains in terms of persistence in the engineering profession, confidence in math and science skills and perceived importance of math and science skills to engineering. Interviews of these “positive gain” students and their “negative gain” peers suggest differences in their attitudes toward and experiences with math and science.
Recent findings from the Academic Pathways Study (APS) have shown that among the factors that predict the post-graduation plans of seniors—plans to pursue engineering or non-engineering work and plans to attend engineering or non-engineering graduate school—are students’ confidence in their professional and interpersonal skills and their level of intrinsic psychological motivation to study engineering. These two variables, when taken in combination, also distinguish the overall college experience of students. Sheppard et al. (2010) delineated findings showing that seniors who are both highly confident and motivated are highly involved in college; they are more involved in extracurricular activities including research, co-op, internship and non- engineering activities, report higher gains in knowledge, and interact more with faculty than students who are at the bottom end of confidence and motivationi. Those with high motivation/low confidence and low motivation/high confidence report levels of involvement intermediate to students at the two extremes.
Otto, E., & Chen, H., & Sheppard, S. (2010, June), Students Improving: Identifying Factors That Seem To Matter Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15879
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