June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Educational Research and Methods
This project is still in the status of work in progress. Project based service-learning (PBSL), as an innovative pedagogy and strategy, has been integrated into engineering education through curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities in many universities to improve engineering education with many favorable impacts on students. There is evidence that PBSL has a positive influence on student learning outcomes, as well as on an institution’s recruitment, retention, and graduation rates. However, to our knowledge, little research has been conducted to understand possible correlations between PBSL and the formation of a student’s professional identity, and prepare them to formally enter their chosen careers. Professors from Departments of Engineering, Education and Sociology at a small predominantly undergraduate institution (PUI) and liberal arts (LIA) private university, are designing and trying to integrate four PBSL activities into our engineering curricula to improve student learning, facilitate the transition from students to professionals and prepare them for their careers with the guidance of career counsels at our career resource center. The four PBSL activities are: 1) “I am an instructor in a STEM class” in engineering orientation class in order to bridge the gap between the high school and college education. 2) “Design a smart food delivery system in a local food pantry” in technical communication class. 3) “A community-based internship course for improving water quality in St Johns River”. 4) “FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics coach program”. Through this project, we will seek answers to the following research questions: 1) What are the impacts of different types of PBSL on formalizing an engineer’s identity, especially at a PUI LIA university? 2) What are impacts of PBSL on the students’ levels of career readiness? 3) What correlations exist between the varied identities and career readiness?
A mixed research method will be used to measure outcomes of students corresponding to each PBSL practice. One-to-one participant interviews (qualitative) will be conducted to measure the impacts of PBSL on students’ identities. Survey (quantitative) and interview data will be used to measure the impacts of PBSL on students’ career readiness and to help form correlations between the identities and career readiness. An inventory list of engineering identities, derived from analysis of data, will be presented after a cycle of interviews focused on the four PBSL activities. A list of potential career matches for each student will be given after surveys to triangulate findings from other data collection. Consulting will also be provided by career counsels at our career resource center after surveys to help students understand their survey results and explore potential careers. Correlations between identities and career readiness will be formed through analysis of interview and survey data.
Wang, H., & Davis, S. C., & Selvi, E., & Atkins, L. C. (2017, June), Work In Progress: The Impact of Project-Based Service Learning on Students' Professional Identities and Career Readiness Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/29185
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