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Toward Understanding the Impacts, Whys, and Whats Behind Mechatronic-based Projects and Student Motivation

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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

Mechatronics

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count

12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29037

Download Count

64

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Paper Authors

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John R. Haughery Iowa State University

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Mr. John Haughery is currently a PhD graduate and lecturer in the department of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University pursuing a degree in Industrial and Agricultural Technology. His technical experience and interests include electrical power systems, industrial controls, and mechatronics. His research focuses on the integration of mechatronic-based projects into freshman engineering and technology curricula with the intent of increasing student engagement and motivation. John received his BS in Industrial Technology: Electronic/Control Systems from Millersville University of Pennsylvania (2006), after which he spent over eight years as a control systems engineer and project manager at Multi-Dimensional Integration. Most recently, he received his MS in Engineering and Technology Management from Morehead State University (2014).

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D. Raj Raman Iowa State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-9117-9127

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Raj Raman is Professor and Associate Chair for Teaching in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE) Department at Iowa State University, where he is also University Education Program Director and Testbed Champion for the NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC), Director of Graduate Education for the Interdepartmental Graduate Minor in Biorenewable Chemicals, and Education Programs Co-Leader for the USDA-AFRI project CenUSA Sustainable Production and Distribution of Biofuels for the Central USA. He is a licensed Professional Engineer who earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology and his PhD in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University. Prior to coming to Iowa State in 2006, he was a faculty member at the University of Tennessee for over twelve years.

Raman enjoys teaching and has taught courses including freshmen engineering (mechanics and computer programming – to classes ranging in size from 20 to 500+), sophomore and junior level courses on mass and energy balance applications to biological systems engineering, numerical methods, electric power and electronics for technology students, senior design, as well as a long-standing residential/online graduate course on the fundamentals of biorenewable resources and technology. He has leveraged this interest into over $10M in teaching-related grant funding over his career and has contributed broadly to the literature in areas of curriculum, student risk characterization, and mentoring. He believes well trained, curious, thoughtful people are crucial to a university’s research effort, and similarly to the function and survival of society. For this reason, the overarching goal of his teaching is to impart the core content needed by the students, and to do so while encouraging inquisition and higher levels of thought. He has secured competitive funds to support his teaching efforts – from university, industry, and federal sources – and for his efforts has received departmental, college, and national teaching honors including the Farrall Young Educator Award (2004) and the Massey-Ferguson Gold Medal Teaching Award (2016) given by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. He has also been an invited participant in the National Academy of Engineering’s 2013 Frontiers in Engineering Education Conference.

Raman chairs the ABE Engineering Curriculum Committee and in that role oversaw the successful 2012 ABET accreditation visit for both the Agricultural Engineering (AE) and Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) degree programs. Upon arriving at ISU in 2006, he led the development of the BSE program, and this program now enrolls over 100 students. Raman also runs multiple summer research internship programs through his roles in CBiRC and CenUSA – over 200 students have participated in summer programs he directed over the past decade. In his role as Pyrone Testbed Champion for CBiRC, Raman and his students have developed early-stage technoeconomic models of bioprocessing systems. His graduate students have gone on to faculty positions at peer institutions, and to engineering leadership positions at companies including Cargill, Nestle, and Merck.

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Amy L. Kaleita Iowa State University

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Amy L. Kaleita is Associate Professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University, and a licensed professional engineer. She has a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Penn State University, an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, from which she also has a PhD in Agricultural Engineering. Her disciplinary research is in the area of data mining and information technologies for precision soil and water conservation.

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Steven A. Freeman Iowa State University

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Steven A. Freeman, PhD, CSP is a Univesity Professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University in Ames, IA. His research is expertise is in occupational safety and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

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Abstract

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

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