WORK IN PROGRESS Understanding Student Learning Profiles in Second Year Problem-Solving Engineering Classes

Yael Gertner, Juan Alvarez, Benjamin Cosman, Jennifer R. Amos

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Student motivation, mindset, and learning styles play a role in student success and satisfaction, and research in engineering education is beginning to link these factors to student retention and learning outcomes. In this work in progress, we add to that prior work by surveying students in a second-year bioengineering course to identify their motivations, mindsets, and learning styles and check which correlates with student success. This set might be specific to this course because it necessitates conceptual problem-solving which requires a unique set of skills that are often new to students. They require thinking through the problem and gaining an abstract conceptual understanding before proceeding. During the first week of Fall 2021, 84 second-year engineering students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign answered a questionnaire with 60 questions taken from validated instruments related to the factors mentioned previously. We conducted a statistical analysis on our data which consists of student performance data (i.e. midterm and final grade) and quantitative data from the questionnaire. We found that the students in our study as a whole have a mindset, intrinsic motivation and sense of belonging that should be conducive to positive learning outcomes. Final grades were correlated with students' responses to questions related to “thinking” as a preferred strategy. We also observed a correlation between grade improvement and questions taken from the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory and sense of belonging. In future work, we plan to use this for designing interventions that are specifically tailored to students in this class. We plan to extend our work to other conceptual problem solving Engineering courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Aug 23 2022
Event129th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Excellence Through Diversity, ASEE 2022 - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: Jun 26 2022Jun 29 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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