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WIP: Personality Types and Learning Preferences of First-Year Gen Z Engineering Students

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

First-Year Programs Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Goli Nossoni University of New Haven

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Dr. Goli Nossoni is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of New Haven. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University in civil engineering. In addition to her interest in engineering education, Dr. Nossoni specializes in the research areas of concrete materials and corrosion of steel inside concrete.

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Humans learn based on their strengths and weaknesses. Many researchers have studied the correlation between the delivery method in classrooms and students learning preferences. Learning preferences can include active, reflective, sensing, intuitive, visual, verbal, sequential and global styles. Researchers have studied engineering students’ learning styles to help instructors in the classroom adjust the method of delivery and strategy to enhance student learning outcomes. However, few studies have related the personality of engineering students and their learning preferences. Further, the few studies that have been done on this topic focused on general student populations and not on first-year engineering students. Engineering students predominantly have certain personality types, and more importantly, the current generation of first-year students (Gen Zs) are even different than millennials in many aspects. No literature exists on the predominant personality types of Gen Z engineering students and their learning styles. Although the predominant personality types of students pursuing engineering seems more or less the same since the 1970s (i.e., the majority of engineering students have judging and thinking personality types), Gen Zs are fundamentally different from millennials. What are the preferred learning styles of Gen Z engineering students and how do these relate to their personality types? While we assume that effective teaching in engineering involves active and group learning, use of makerspaces, and problem solving studios, we really don’t know the learning preferences of the new generation of students. This generation has grown up with electronic screens and social media in front of their faces from a very young age. And now faculty are trying to have them work in groups, take them to the makerspace, and so on without knowing whether the Gen Zs will respond in the same way as millennials. This paper relates the personality types of Gen Z students and their learning styles. First-year engineering students in a project based introduction to engineering course will take two web-based tests to identify their personality types and their learning preferences at the end of the Fall 2019 semester. Correlations between the students’ personality types and learning preferences will be discussed.

Nossoni, G. (2021, July), WIP: Personality Types and Learning Preferences of First-Year Gen Z Engineering Students Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--38093

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