Asee peer logo

The Need for Measuring Transformative Experiences in Engineering Education

Download Paper |


2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

The Philosophy of Engineering and Technological Literacy

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Katherine Goodman University of Colorado, Denver Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Katherine Goodman is assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver, in Inworks, an interdisciplinary innovation lab. She completed her PhD at the ATLAS Institute in Technology, Media, and Society at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research focuses on experiential learning in engineering education. She also holds a B.S. in mathematics and a masters of professional writing.

visit author page


Jean Hertzberg University of Colorado, Boulder Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Hertzberg is currently Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at CU-Boulder. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in measurement techniques, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, design and computer tools. She has pioneered a spectacular course on the art and physics of flow visualization, and is conducting research on the impact of the course with respect to visual perception and educational outcomes. Her disciplinary research centers around pulsatile, vortex dominated flows with applications in both combustion and bio-fluid dynamics. She is also interested in a variety of flow field measurement techniques. Current projects include electrospray atomization of jet fuel and velocity and vorticity in human cardiac ventricles and large vessels.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Transformative experiences are specific moments when students 1) apply practices and/or knowledge from their coursework to everyday experiences without prompting (also called motivated use); 2) view everyday objects or situations through the lens of course content (expanded perception); and 3) express value course content in new ways because it enriches everyday experience (experiential value, which we also term affective value). This construct draws heavily on John Dewey’s seminal work in education and experiential learning. Transformative experience has been measured in science courses at both the K-12 and undergraduate levels; work is very preliminary in engineering. Here, we explain the import of fostering transformative experiences, particularly in the context of engineering design. We describe differences between transformative experiences of scientific topics and those of engineering principles. We also draw connections between transformative experience and belonging and engineering identity, which are being measured more frequently in the process of recruitment and retention of students.

Goodman, K., & Hertzberg, J. (2017, June), The Need for Measuring Transformative Experiences in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28988

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