June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Educational Research and Methods
26.1527.1 - 26.1527.11
The Effects of Using Desktop Learning Modules on Engineering Students’ Motivation: A Work in ProgressVarious reports have been published during the past decade to highlight a wide range ofproblems with engineering curricula, especially the lecture-dominated form of transmitting coreengineering concepts to students [1-5]. These reports have also shown that students’ motivationin learning engineering concepts continues to wane resulting in reduced interest in engineeringcareers and low student-retention in engineering. Researchers have proposed differentapproaches to tackling this problem [6-7]. This paper provides highlights from a large programof research that is adopting active learning approaches to address the challenges delineatedabove. Specifically, we examine the use of desktop learning modules (DLMs) in fosteringstudent engagement, learning and motivation. More specifically, this research will report on theuse of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire [8; MSLQ] in assessing engineeringstudent motivation and determining the degree to which the DLMs can enhance engineeringstudents’ motivation.Although there are many standardized questionnaires used to assess student motivation to learn,the MSLQ is one of the more widely used in general education research. The MSLQ is a self-report instrument specifically designed to assess students' motivational orientations and their useof different learning strategies. It was designed to focus on the “course level, situated betweenthe very general and global level of all learning situations and the impractical, difficult-to-measure level of transient situations within one course” [9, 15]. As widespread as the use ofMSLQ is in educational research, its use is very limited in engineering education researchalthough it has been recognized as a viable instrument to help uncover student motivation .The DLMs used in engineering classrooms were developed as part of a large program ofresearch. The DLMs were designed with hands-on learning modules with base units andconcomitant interchangeable cartridges to communicate core engineering concepts. Extensivedescriptions of the DLMs have been published and presented by our team in previous studies[11-14].The DLMs used in this study is already developed and is currently being used in fluid mechanicsand heat transfer courses. This fall, engineering students’ self-reported motivation and learning isbeing measured by six motivational subscales and three cognitive subscales selected from theMSLQ: intrinsic goal orientation (4 items), extrinsic goal orientation (4 items), task value (6items), control for learning beliefs (4 items), self-efficacy for learning and performance (8 items)and test anxiety (5 items). The three learning strategies subscales being used in this study areelaboration (6 items), critical thinking (5 items), and peer learning (3 items). Participants willrespond to each statement using a 7-point Likert scale (1 = not at all true of me, 7 = very true ofme) in terms of their motivation and learning behavior in the course using the DLMs. We willreport the internal consistency reliabilities (alphas) of these subscales with engineering students.We will also report the correlations between the 6 different motivational subscales and the 3chosen learning strategies subscales as well as the posttest and the midterm exam test in thecourse to examine the robustness of the effect of using the DLMs to facilitate engineeringstudent motivation.In summary, we anticipate this work will open up frontiers of new knowledge about engineeringstudent motivation using hands-on active learning approaches. Future work may strategicallyexplore the degree to which student motivation with the DLMs will predict recruitment andretention of students into the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics domains. References Norman A. 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W., Johnson, R. T., and Holubec, E. J., 1990, Circles of Learning: Cooperation in the Classroom, Edina, MN: Interaction Book Company. Dym, C. L., Agogino, A. M., Eris, O., Frey, D. D., and Leifer, L. J., 2005, "Engineering Design Thinking, Teaching, and Learning," Journal of Engineering Education, 94(1), pp. 103-120. Pintrich, P. R., Smith, D. A. F., Garcia, T., & McKeachie, W. J. (1991). A manual for the use of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). Report No. NSCRIPTAL-91-B-004. National Center for Research to Improve Postsecondary Teaching and Learning. Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Duncan, T. G., & McKeachie, W. J. (2005). The making of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire. Educational Psychologist, 40, 117-128. Stump, G. S., Hilpert, J., Husman, J., Chung, W., Kim, W. (2011). Collaborative Learning in Engineering Students: Gender and Achievement. Journal of Engineering Education, 100, 475-497. Authors (2011). Authors (2012). Authors (2013). 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Adesope, O. O., & Hunsu, N., & Van Wie, B. J. (2015, June), The Effects of Using Desktop Learning Modules on Engineering Students’ Motivation: A Work in Progress Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24865
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