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Volunteering in Earthquake Disaster Programs: Engineering Students’ Perceptions and Motivations

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Impact of Community Engagement on Students

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1364.1 - 24.1364.12



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Paper Authors


Hoda Baytiyeh American University of Beirut (Beirut)

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Hoda Baytiyeh has B.E. in Computer Engineering from France and Ph.D. in Instructional Technology from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), USA. Upon graduation in 2009, she joined AUB Faculty of Art and Science as an assistant professor in the Department of Education. In her current position, Dr. Baytiyeh teaches courses in Educational Technology and Web Design. Her primary research areas of interest include Online Learning Communities, Social Networking, Engineering Education and Earthquake Disaster Risk Education focusing on community and schools engagement. She has published numerous articles in peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings.

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Mohamad K. Naja

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Volunteering in earthquake disaster program: Engineering students’ perceptions and motivationsA major devastating earthquake is predicted to shake Lebanon in the near future leading toextensive damage and national tragedy. To effectively mitigate the cataclysmic effects of suchlooming disaster, effective mitigation, preparedness and response strategies relying ongovernment resources, community engagement and volunteering programs is crucially essential.The objective of this study is to investigate the intentions of engineering students to volunteer inan earthquake disaster program. The theoretical framework for this study is drawn from theTheory of Reasoned Action (TRA) that was developed to examine the relationship betweenattitudes and behavior. Behavior intention indicates the amount of effort an individual would liketo commit to perform such behavior and is determined by attitudes and subjective norms. Anattitude refers to the individual’s perception toward specific behavior. The subjective norms referto the individual’s perception that people who are important to him believe that he shouldperform such a behavior. Four hundred thirty seven engineering students at several universitiesin Lebanon completed a survey evaluating a set of 19 items on a scale of 5 that reflect the keys ofthe TRA to evaluate students’ intentions and motivations to volunteer in an earthquake disasterprogram. An Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was employed and generated five factors thatwere named: learning attitude, social attitude, altruistic attitude, extrinsic attitude and subjectivenorms. These factors generated five variables that were computed based on the mean of the itemsfalling under each factor. In order to compare the factors as rated by users, one-way repeatedmeasures ANOVA was applied on the five variables and showed the learning attitude as thehighest rated by participants (µ= 3.84),, followed by altruistic attitude (µ= 3.71), extrinsicattitude (µ= 3.38), social attitude (µ= 3.27) and subjective norms (µ= 2.78). Post Hoc tests usingBonferroni technique indicated significance between the all factors except between the social andextrinsic attitudes that have close values. Such results suggest that engineering students aremostly driven by learning endeavors and altruistic motives to enroll in an earthquake disasterprogram. The current piece of research contributes to knowledge in the field of disaster riskeducation and shed light on how to engage engineering students in such a national cause.

Baytiyeh, H., & Naja, M. K. (2014, June), Volunteering in Earthquake Disaster Programs: Engineering Students’ Perceptions and Motivations Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23297

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