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Work in Progress: First-year Engineering Students’ Study Strategies and Their Academic Performance

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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

First-year Programs: Focus on Students

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First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Ahmed Ashraf Butt Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Ahmed Ashraf Butt is a doctoral student at the School of Engineering Education, Purdue University. He is currently working as a research assistant on the CourseMIRROR project funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). He is interested in designing educational tools and exploring their impact on enhancing students' learning experiences. Before Purdue University, Ahmed has worked as a lecturer for two years at the University of Lahore, Pakistan. Additionally, he has been associated with the software industry in various capacities, from developer to consultant.

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Saira Anwar Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Saira Anwar is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Engineering Education, Purdue University. Her primary research focuses on studying the unique contribution of different instructional strategies on students’ learning and motivation in computing courses. Further, she is interested in designing interventions that help in understanding conceptually hard concepts in STEM courses especially programming and software engineering courses. Prior to Purdue University, Saira worked as Assistant Professor in Computer Science Department at Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) at Pakistan for eight years and was recognized for outstanding teaching with the year 2013 teaching award. Saira was also the recipient of the "President of Pakistan Merit and Talent Scholarship" for her undergraduate studies. Saira is also a recipient of school – level outstanding researcher award for the year 2020 by the School of Engineering Education, Purdue University.

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Muhsin Menekse Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Muhsin Menekse is an Assistant Professor at Purdue University with a joint appointment in the School of Engineering Education and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Menekse's primary research focus is on exploring K-16 students' engagement and learning of engineering and science concepts by creating innovative instructional resources and conducting interdisciplinary quasi-experimental research studies in and out of classroom environments. Dr. Menekse is the recipient of the 2014 William Elgin Wickenden Award by the American Society for Engineering Education. Dr. Menekse also received three Seed-for-Success Awards (in 2017, 2018, and 2019) from Purdue University's Excellence in Research Awards programs in recognition of obtaining three external grants of $1 million or more during each year. His research has been generously funded by grants from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Purdue Research Foundation (PRF), and National Science Foundation (NSF).

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Utilizing effective study strategies is one of the key predictors of students’ academic performance (e.g., [1]). However, in engineering education, there are a few studies that explored this relationship in real classroom settings throughout an academic semester. This work in progress paper investigates the relationship of engineering students' study strategies and their academic performance in a required first-year engineering course. For this study, data was collected from 161 engineering students at a large Midwestern university. We collected data by asking students to reflect on their study strategies that they used for the preparation of course exams. This course had three exams for student evaluation over the semester. We used these exam scores as a measure of their academic performance, which were graded by the instructional team. From this data, we addressed two research questions: 1) To what degree do students’ selection of study strategies vary while preparing for exams? 2) How do students’ study strategies relate to their academic performance in exams? To answer the first question, we conducted one-way ANOVA to test the variability in the students' selection of study strategies over the exams. And for the second question, we performed a bivariate linear regression to analyze the relationship between students' study strategies and students’ academic performance. Our preliminary results revealed that there was a significant change in the frequency of the selection of student study strategies over the exams, and the most significant variation existed between the first and third exam. However, the results of the regression analyses showed no significant relationship between the frequency of the students’ study strategies and their academic performance in all exams. While this paper is work in progress paper, we in our future studies aim to explore it further by looking at different aspects of study strategies, and by seeing the difference between low and high achieving students

Butt, A. A., & Anwar, S., & Menekse, M. (2020, June), Work in Progress: First-year Engineering Students’ Study Strategies and Their Academic Performance Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35637

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