ERIC Number: EJ1054295
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Assessing Students' Motivation to Engage in Sustainable Engineering
McCormick, Mary; Bielefeldt, Angela R.; Swan, Christopher W.; Paterson, Kurtis G.
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v16 n2 p136-154 2015
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to design an assessment instrument to evaluate students' attitudes toward sustainable engineering (SE). Factors that impact SE beliefs could then be explored. Design/methodology/approach: Using the definition of sustainability from the Brundtland report and expectancy value theory, students' sentiment toward SE was evaluated using items to assess SE self-efficacy, SE value and SE affect. The survey was distributed at three diverse universities with 515 responses from students ranging from first year through graduate studies in a variety of engineering majors. The survey instrument was validated using principal components analysis, and internal reliability was established via high Cronbach's alpha for each construct. Findings: Participation in more experiential, enriching learning experiences correlated to higher SE self-efficacy, value and affect. Extracurricular club involvement correlated with a lower self-efficacy but high SE value. Students who had participated in undergraduate research had a high SE self-efficacy, particularly in the environmental and social sub-scales. The students who participated in internships had high SE self-efficacy but lower SE affect. A greater number of volunteer hours correlated with increased SE affect. Female students possessed higher SE value and affect than male students, but self-efficacy was not significantly different. SE self-efficacy increased with academic rank. Originality/value: This is the first effort to measure engineering students' attitudes toward SE using the three sub-scales of expectancy value theory and assessing correlations in these attributes with students' participation in various learning experiences.
Descriptors: College Students, Measures (Individuals), Student Attitudes, Sustainability, Engineering, Engineering Education, Reliability, Experiential Learning, Extracurricular Activities, Gender Differences, Self Efficacy, Correlation, Student Surveys, Expectation, Online Surveys, Likert Scales, Validity, Student Motivation, Regression (Statistics)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 0934567; 0935082; 0935209