June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1500.1 - 22.1500.11
The Role of Intentional Self-Regulation in Achievement in EngineeringLife, or “soft,” skills are an important, but often overlooked, component of engineeringeducation. The acquisition of such skills has been linked in adolescence to greater successin high school and in later life pursuits. Based on this research, we investigated theprocesses of intentional self-regulation as indicative of positive, healthy or, moregenerally, adaptive behavior and development. Self-regulation was measured as theselection [S] of positive goals (e.g., graduation from college with good grades in one’schosen major); the optimization [O] of one’s chances of attaining one’s goals (e.g.,executive functioning, planning, strategy formation, or resources recruitment); and theability to compensate [C] effectively when, for instance, strategies fail or when initialgoals are blocked. These “SOC” skills involve also loss-based selection [LBS], whichinvolves making a new selection after initial failure or loss and thus the continuedmanifestation of adaptive intentional self-regulations.These four SOC skills (S< LBS< O, and C) align closely with engineering design processactivities, such as selecting the best possible solutions to pursue, optimizing based on theconstraints of the problem, and compensating for the challenges that arise inimplementing a solution. Accordingly, the goal of the present research was to apply theexisting methods developed for measuring these SOC skills among universityundergraduate engineering students. Our underlying question was: Are such skills ofparticular importance to engineers as they develop their knowledge base and launchtheir careers?To answer this question, we conducted a cross-sectional study at two universities (labeledA and B) with sophomore, junior, and senior engineering students. Surveyingapproximately 400 students at each institution (about 50% engineering student and theremaining students from Arts & Sciences backgrounds), we measured students’ GPAs,extracurricular activities (major and non-major related), and SOC skills.Using multiple regression analysis, there appears to be a direct and positive relationbetween these intentional self-regulations skill sets (i.e., S, O, C, or LBS) and the GPAsof engineers in one of the universities and a mediated relation between SOC, activities,and GPA in the other university. For all groups of students there was also a relationshipbetween participating in out-of-classroom “professional” (academic major-related)activities and GPA. Greater activities participation predicted higher GPA among both theengineering and liberal arts students.
Hynes, M. M., & McKenna, A. F., & Rogers, C., & Mueller, M. K., & Neumeyer, X., & Lerner, R. M. (2011, June), The Role of Intentional Self-Regulation in Achievement in Engineering Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18991
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