June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
The purpose of this study was to understand the how’s, why’s, and what’s behind students’ motivational orientation in a first-year engineering technology course, following a mechatronic project. To accomplish this, we implemented an eight-week treatment that required 61 students to design and integrate a software program to control an electro-mechanical robotic system. Using non-parametric quantitative analyses of pre-/post- survey responses we found that students’ median motivational orientation score, on the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire, was significantly lower (Mdndiff = -0.34; W = 1360; p-value = 0.0111) following the mechatronic project (i.e., they were less motivated to engage in the learning process following the project). However, when asked directly, a significantly larger proportion of students reported that it was motivating ( = 0.90; p-value < 0.010). To clarify these divergent results, we used a mix of text-mining algorithms and word stem frequency analyses to examine open-ended student responses. From this we discovered the word stems work*, project*, learn*, program*, want*, see*, motiv*, and robot* to be the most prevalent used for “why” the mechatronic project was motivating; the word stems work*, code*, get*, motiv*, robot*, see*, project*, want*, and complet* were the most commonly reported for “what” motivated students. From this we start to uncover the “why’s” and “what’s” behind students’ motivation: namely, that the visual and physical aspects of the mechatronic project were motivating to them.
Haughery, J. R., & Raman, D. R., & Kaleita, A. L., & Freeman, S. A. (2017, June), Toward Understanding the Impacts, Whys, and Whats Behind Mechatronic-based Projects and Student Motivation Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/29037
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