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WIP: Motivation and Identity: The Impact of Identity on Recovering from Failure

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Student Motivation, Identity, and Resilience

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors

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Caroline Bolton Bucknell University


Elif Miskioğlu Bucknell University

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Dr. Elif Miskioğlu is an early-career engineering education scholar and educator. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering (with Genetics minor) from Iowa State University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Ohio State University. Her early Ph.D. work focused on the development of bacterial biosensors capable of screening pesticides for specifically targeting the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. As a result, her diverse background also includes experience in infectious disease and epidemiology, providing crucial exposure to the broader context of engineering problems and their subsequent solutions. These diverse experiences and a growing passion for improving engineering education prompted Dr. Miskioğlu to change her career path and become a scholar of engineering education. As an educator, she is committed to challenging her students to uncover new perspectives and dig deeper into the context of the societal problems engineering is intended to solve. As a scholar, she seeks to not only contribute original theoretical research to the field, but work to bridge the theory-to-practice gap in engineering education by serving as an ambassador for empirically driven, and often novel, educational practices.

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Kaela M. Martin Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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Kaela Martin is an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott Campus. She graduated from Purdue University with a PhD in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and is interested in increasing classroom engagement and student learning.

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This work-in-progress research paper aims to describe the relationship between academic motivation and engineering identity. Here we present theory and preliminary data analysis in our effort to determine if academic motivation and engineering identity are correlated to the extent that one can predict the other. Engineering students consistently face challenges while in college working towards their degrees. Sometimes these challenges turn to triumph and other times result in failure. Failure is an essential part of education, provoking strong reactions. Studying the steps an individual takes towards self-motivation after failure simultaneously with engineering identity may provide insight into a deeper understanding of the pair as a whole. We hypothesize that the stronger a student identifies as an engineer, the more motivation they will have to complete academic goals and also recover from academic failure. We also hypothesize that identity and motivation may be used to measure one another with acceptable validity and reliability. A significant correlation between the two, if it exists, could provide educators and researchers an advantage in quantitatively measuring engineering identity and gaining further insight into motivational patterns.

Bolton, C., & Miskioğlu , E., & Martin, K. M. (2020, June), WIP: Motivation and Identity: The Impact of Identity on Recovering from Failure Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35562

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