Asee peer logo

WIP: Teaching Engineering Students How the Brain Works to Encourage Positive Learning Dispositions and Behaviors

Download Paper |


2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Works in Progress I

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Dong San Choi University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

visit author page

Dong San Choi is a PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign;

visit author page


Michael C. Loui Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

visit author page

Michael C. Loui is the Dale and Suzi Gallagher Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. He was previously Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and University Distinguished Teacher-Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His interests include computational complexity theory, professional ethics, and engineering education research. He served as the editor of the Journal of Engineering Education from 2012 to 2017. He currently serves on the editorial boards of College Teaching and Accountability in Research. He is a Carnegie Scholar and an IEEE Fellow. Professor Loui was Associate Dean of the Graduate College at Illinois from 1996 to 2000. He directed the theory of computing program at the National Science Foundation from 1990 to 1991. He earned the Ph.D. at M.I.T. in 1980.

visit author page

Download Paper |


In this work-in-progress paper, we report preliminary results from a study of student outcomes in a course called “Engineering the Mind.” We offered the course in Fall 2017 at large, public research university in the Midwest. We used design-based research and the Transtheoretical Model of Health Behavior Change to develop and assess the course. We collected quantitative, pre-post survey data on students’ mindsets, goal orientations, and self-regulation. Furthermore, we collected students’ course assignments as qualitative data to understand what helped them change their learning dispositions and behaviors. We found that the median mindset score increased from pre-survey to post-survey. Qualitative results were omitted for space reasons. If this course is effective, it can adopted by other institutions to help students succeed.

Choi, D. S., & Loui, M. C. (2018, June), WIP: Teaching Engineering Students How the Brain Works to Encourage Positive Learning Dispositions and Behaviors Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31254

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: © 2018 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