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The Making of an Innovative Engineer: Academic and Life Experiences that Shape Engineering Task and Innovation Self-Efficacy

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Experiences of Diverse Students

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28986

Download Count

134

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Paper Authors

biography

Mark Schar Stanford University

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The focus of Mark’s research can broadly be described as “pivot thinking,” the cognitive aptitudes and abilities that encourage innovation, and the tension between design engineering and business management cognitive styles. To encourage these thinking patterns in young engineers, Mark has developed a Scenario Based Learning curriculum that attempts to blend core engineering concepts with selected business ideas. Mark is also researches empathy and mindfulness and its impact on gender participation in engineering education. He is a Lecturer in the School of Engineering at Stanford University and teaches the course ME310x Product Management and ME305 Statistics for Design Researchers.

Mark has extensive background in consumer products management, having managed more than 50 consumer driven businesses over a 25-year career with The Procter & Gamble Company. In 2005, he joined Intuit, Inc. as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer and initiated a number of consumer package goods marketing best practices, introduced the use of competitive response modeling and "on-the-fly" A|B testing program to qualify software improvements.

Mark is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of One Page Solutions, a consulting firm that uses the OGSP® process to help technology and branded product clients develop better strategic plans. Mark is a member of The Band of Angels, Silicon Valley's oldest organization dedicated exclusively to funding seed stage start-ups. In addition, he serves on the board of several technology start-up companies.

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Shannon Katherine Gilmartin Stanford University

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Shannon K. Gilmartin, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Scholar at the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research and Adjunct Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She is also Managing Director of SKG Analysis, a research consulting firm. Her expertise and interests focus on education and workforce development in engineering and science fields. Previous and current clients include the American Chemical Society, the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, California Institute of Technology, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at California State University Fullerton, the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education at Stanford University, the School of Medicine at Stanford University, and the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

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Beth Rieken Stanford University

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Beth Rieken is a PhD Candidate at Stanford University in the Mechanical Engineering Department. She is in the Designing Education Lab advised by Prof. Sheri Sheppard. Her work focuses on fostering mindful awareness, empathy and curiosity in engineering students. Beth completed a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2010 and a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford in 2012.

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Samantha Ruth Brunhaver Arizona State University

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Samantha Brunhaver is an Assistant Professor of Engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. Dr. Brunhaver joined Arizona State after completing her M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She also has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University. Dr. Brunhaver's research examines the career decision-making and professional identity formation of engineering students, alumni, and practicing engineers. In addition, she conducts studies of new engineering pedagogy that help to improve student engagement and understanding.

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Helen L. Chen Stanford University

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Helen L. Chen is a research scientist in the Designing Education Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Director of ePortfolio Initiatives in the Office of the Registrar at Stanford University. Chen earned her undergraduate degree from UCLA and her Ph.D. in Communication with a minor in Psychology from Stanford University. Her current research interests include: 1) engineering and entrepreneurship education; 2) the pedagogy of ePortfolios and reflective practice in higher education; and 3) redesigning the traditional academic transcript.

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biography

Sheri Sheppard Stanford University

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Sheri D. Sheppard, Ph.D., P.E., is professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. Besides teaching both undergraduate and graduate design and education related classes at Stanford University, she conducts research on engineering education and work-practices, and applied finite element analysis. From 1999-2008 she served as a Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, leading the Foundation’s engineering study (as reported in Educating Engineers: Designing for the Future of the Field). In addition, in 2011 Dr. Sheppard was named as co-PI of a national NSF innovation center (Epicenter), and leads an NSF program at Stanford on summer research experiences for high school teachers. Her industry experiences includes engineering positions at Detroit's "Big Three:" Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and Chrysler Corporation.

At Stanford she has served a chair of the faculty senate, and recently served as Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

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Abstract

The Making of an Innovative Engineer: Academic and Life Experiences that Shape Engineering Task and Innovation Self-Efficacy

This research paper presents the results of a study that uses multivariate models to explore the relationships between participation in learning experiences, innovation self-efficacy, and engineering task self-efficacy. Findings show that many engineering students participated in learning experiences that are typically associated with engineering education, such as taking a shop class or engineering class in high school (47%), taking a computer science (81%) or design/prototyping (72%) class as an undergraduate, working in an engineering environment as an intern (56%), or attending a career related event during college (75%). Somewhat surprisingly, given the rigors of an engineering curriculum, a significant number of students participated in an art, dance, music, theater, or creative writing class (55%), taken a class on leadership topics (47%), and/or participated in student clubs outside of engineering (44%) during college. There also were important differences in rates of participation by gender, underrepresented racial/ethnic minority status, and first generation college student status.

Overall prediction of engineering task self-efficacy and innovation self-efficacy was relatively low, with a model fit of these learning experiences predicting engineering task self-efficacy at (adjusted r2 of) .200 and .163 for innovation self-efficacy. Certain patterns emerged when the learning experiences were sorted by Bandura’s Sources of Self-Efficacy. For engineering task self-efficacy, higher participation in engineering mastery and vicarious engineering experiences was associated with higher engineering task self-efficacy ratings. For the development of innovation self-efficacy, a broader range of experiences beyond engineering experiences was important. There was a strong foundation of engineering mastery experiences in the innovation self-efficacy model; however, broadening experiences beyond engineering, particularly in the area of leadership experiences, may be a factor in innovation self-efficacy.

These results provide a foundation for future longitudinal work probing specific types of learning experiences that shape engineering students’ innovation goals. They also set the stage for comparative models of students’ goals around highly technical engineering work, which allows us to understand more deeply how “innovation” and “engineering” come together in the engineering student experience.

Schar, M., & Gilmartin, S. K., & Rieken, B., & Brunhaver, S. R., & Chen, H. L., & Sheppard, S. (2017, June), The Making of an Innovative Engineer: Academic and Life Experiences that Shape Engineering Task and Innovation Self-Efficacy Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28986

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015