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Understanding and Predicting Persistence in First Year Engineering Students

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Based on James Marcia's theory, identity development in youth is the degree to which one has explored and committed to a vocation [1], [2]. During the path to an engineering identity, students will experience a crisis, when one's values and

Based on James Marcia's theory, identity development in youth is the degree to which one has explored and committed to a vocation [1], [2]. During the path to an engineering identity, students will experience a crisis, when one's values and choices are examined and reevaluated, and a commitment, when the outcome of the crisis leads the student to commit to becoming an engineer. During the crisis phase, students are offered a multitude of experiences to shape their values and choices to influence commitment to becoming an engineering student. Student's identities in engineering are fostered through mentoring from industry, alumni, and peer coaching [3], [4]; experiences that emphasize awareness of the importance of professional interactions [5]; and experiences that show creativity, collaboration, and communication as crucial components to engineering. Further strategies to increase students' persistence include support in their transition to becoming an engineering student, education about professional engineers and the workplace [6], and engagement in engineering activities beyond the classroom. Though these strategies are applied to all students, there are challenges students face in confronting their current identity and beliefs before they can understand their value to society and achieve personal satisfaction. To understand student's progression in developing their engineering identity, first year engineering students were surveyed at the beginning and end of their first semester. Students were asked to rate their level of agreement with 22 statements about their engineering experience. Data included 840 cases. Items with factor loading less than 0.6 suggesting no sufficient explanation were removed in successive factor analysis to identify the four factors. Factor analysis indicated that 60.69% of the total variance was explained by the successive factors. Survey questions were categorized into three factors: engineering identity as defined by sense of belonging and self-efficacy, doubts about becoming an engineer, and exploring engineering. Statements in exploring engineering indicated student awareness, interest and enjoyment within engineering. Students were asked to think about whether they spent time learning what engineers do and participating in engineering activities. Statements about doubts about engineering to engineering indicated whether students had formed opinions about their engineering experience and had understanding about their environment. Engineering identity required thought in belonging and self-efficacy. Belonging statements called for thought about one's opinion in the importance of being an engineer, the meaning of engineering, an attachment to engineering, and self-identification as an engineer. Statements about self-efficacy required students to contemplate their personal judgement of whether they would be able to succeed and their ability to become an engineer. Effort in engineering indicated student willingness to invest time and effort and their choices and effort in their engineering discipline.

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2018-05

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SAVE ANVORUNA: THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL RELEVANCE IN COMPUTER SYSTEMS ENGINEERING

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The goal of this research study was to empirically study the effects of a project based learning activity. The effectiveness of this study was benchmarked according to two results: the effectiveness in communicating the scope and impact of engineering, and

The goal of this research study was to empirically study the effects of a project based learning activity. The effectiveness of this study was benchmarked according to two results: the effectiveness in communicating the scope and impact of engineering, and the effectiveness in increasing interest in computer systems engineering (CSE). This research report presents an analysis of the effects of making engineering education socially relevant, interesting and accessible. High school students participated in a learning experience in which they designed flood evacuation systems that could warn a city of incoming floods. Both pre-assessments and post-assessments were implemented to capture students' awareness of engineering tasks and their interest levels in engineering tasks. Data on students' perceptions of specific engineering tasks were analyzed quantitatively through Wilcoxon signed-rank testing and determined that the program had significant positive effects on developing more accurate conceptions of engineering tasks. The results relating to student interest in CSE indicated that there was an increased level of interest in CSE engineering tasks after the program. There was a 14% increase in number of students who found engineering tasks interesting from 64% to 78%. However, as participants self-selected to participate in this learning experience, many students had positive perceptions of engineering tasks prior to engaging in the learning experience. This study was successful and met both of its primary goals of enhancing awareness and interest in engineering in this particular group of high school students.

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2017-05

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Assessment of Student Responses to Various Resources Offered in Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science Courses

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To supplement lectures, various resources are available to students; however, little research has been done to look systematically at which resources studies find most useful and the frequency at which they are used. We have conducted a preliminary study looking

To supplement lectures, various resources are available to students; however, little research has been done to look systematically at which resources studies find most useful and the frequency at which they are used. We have conducted a preliminary study looking at various resources available in an introductory material science course over four semesters using a custom survey called the Student Resource Value Survey (SRVS). More specifically, the SRVS was administered before each test to determine which resources students use to do well on exams. Additionally, over the course of the semester, which resources students used changed. For instance, study resources for exams including the use of homework problems decreased from 81% to 50%, the utilization of teaching assistant for exam studying increased from 25% to 80%, the use of in class Muddiest Points for exam study increased form 28% to 70%, old exams and quizzes only slightly increased for exam study ranging from 78% to 87%, and the use of drop-in tutoring services provided to students at no charge decreased from 25% to 17%. The data suggest that students thought highly of peer interactions by using those resources more than tutoring centers. To date, no research has been completed looking at courses at the department level or a different discipline. To this end, we adapted the SRVS administered in material science to investigate resource use in thirteen biomedical engineering (BME) courses. Here, we assess the following research question: "From a variety of resources, which do biomedical engineering students feel addresses difficult concept areas, prepares them for examinations, and helps in computer-aided design (CAD) and programming the most and with what frequency?" The resources considered include teaching assistants, classroom notes, prior exams, homework problems, Muddiest Points, office hours, tutoring centers, group study, and the course textbook. Results varied across the four topical areas: exam study, difficult concept areas, CAD software, and math-based programming. When preparing for exams and struggling with a learning concept, the most used and useful resources were: 1) homework problems, 2) class notes and 3) group studying. When working on math-based programming (Matlab and Mathcad) as well as computer-aided design, the most used and useful resources were: 1) group studying, 2) engineering tutoring center, and 3) undergraduate teaching assistants. Concerning learning concepts and exams in the BME department, homework problems and class notes were considered some of the highest-ranking resources for both frequency and usefulness. When comparing to the pilot study in MSE, both BME and MSE students tend to highly favor peer mentors and old exams as a means of studying for exams at the end of the semester1. Because the MSE course only considered exams, we cannot make any comparisons to BME data concerning programming and CAD. This analysis has highlighted potential resources that are universally beneficial, such as the use of peer work, i.e. group studying, engineering tutoring center, and teaching assistants; however, we see differences by both discipline and topical area thereby highlighting the need to determine important resources on a class-by-class basis as well.

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2016-05

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Project Build-A-Hero: Enhancing Biomedical Engineering as a Socially Relevant Discipline

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The goal of this research study was to empirically study a poster-based messaging campaign in comparison to that of a project-based learning approach in assessing the effectiveness of these methods in conveying the scope of biomedical engineering to upper elementary

The goal of this research study was to empirically study a poster-based messaging campaign in comparison to that of a project-based learning approach in assessing the effectiveness of these methods in conveying the scope of biomedical engineering to upper elementary school students. For the purpose of this honors thesis, this research paper specifically reflects and analyzes the first stage of this study, the poster-based messaging campaign. 6th grade students received socially relevant messaging of juniors and seniors at ASU achieving their biomedical aspirations, and received information regarding four crucial themes of biomedical engineering via daily presentations and a website. Their learning was tracked over the course of the weeklong immersion program through a pre/post assessment. This data was then analyzed through the Wilcoxon matched pairs test to determine whether the change in biomedical engineering awareness was statistically significant. It was determined that a poster-based messaging campaign indeed increased awareness of socially relevant themes within biomedical engineering, and provided researchers with tangible ways to revise the study before a second round of implementation. The next stage of the study aims to explain biomedical engineering through engaging activities that stimulate making while emphasizing design-aesthetic appeal and engineering habits of mind such as creativity, teamwork, and communication.

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2016-05

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Investigation of Student Achievement and Attitude about a Flipped Classroom Using Linked Lecture Videos in Biomedical Engineering

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Flipped classrooms invert the traditional teaching methods and deliver the lecture online outside of the classroom. An increase in technology accessibility is increasing the prevalence of this teaching technique in universities. In this study, we aim to address some of

Flipped classrooms invert the traditional teaching methods and deliver the lecture online outside of the classroom. An increase in technology accessibility is increasing the prevalence of this teaching technique in universities. In this study, we aim to address some of the uncertainties of a flipped classroom by implementing a new lecture format in Transport Phenomena. Transport Phenomena is a junior level biomedical engineering course originally flipped in Spring 2013. Since transitioning to a flipped classroom, students have been required to watch 75-minute lectures outside of class where the instructor covered key concepts and examples using paper and marker on a document camera. In class, students then worked in groups to solve problems with instructor and teaching assistant feedback. Students also completed self-graded homework with the opportunity to earn lost points back by discussing fundamental misconceptions. We are introducing re-formatted mini lectures that contain the same content broken down as well as example problems worked out in a tutorial technique instead of traditional solving method. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of newly created mini lectures with integrated questions and links in terms of student achievement and attitude [interest, utility, and "cost" (time, effort, and emotion)].

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2016-12