June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
For students, choosing an appropriate major is a critical factor in ensuring a productive and successful college experience. Major choice determines the nature of work students engage in and the faculty and peers with whom they come in contact. Research shows that both of these factors impact student learning, satisfaction, and persistence. For engineering students, the selection of a discipline can be difficult. As a result, some engineering programs have a First-Year Experience (FYE) course which provides students with engineering design, global interest, math skills, academic success, engineering profession, latent curricular and professional skills, communication skills, and skill with engineering-specific tools. In fact, the FYE course has proliferated in U.S. engineering programs, with nearly 60% of these programs touting a course of their own. However, even within FYE, there are many variations in course offerings.
With this increasing popularity, it is important to understand the effects of different FYE offerings on their students. FYE courses are often large and engagement multiple instructors and have differing degrees to which course content and approaches to teaching are controlled. The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact that faculty autonomy in the FYE has on student motivation within a single FYE course by answering the following research question: With increasing instructor autonomy, how does student motivation change in a First-Year Engineering course? This question is addressed through the use of existing survey data and course records collected over a three-year period to determine how students’ motivation changes over their first year of which the FYE experience is a significant part. The survey was designed using questions grounded in Eccles’ Expectancy-Value Theory (EVT) and Jones’ MUSIC Model of Academic Motivation.
The recommendations offered in this study can serve as useful resources for instructors seeking to understand how their approach to the Introduction to Engineering course affects student motivation in their course.
Blackowski, S. A., & Matusovich, H. M., & Knott, T. (2019, June), Work in Progress: A Longitudinal Study of Student Motivation Throughout the Lifetime of a First-Year Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33582
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