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Kennedy Research Group Project

Project Title: Collaborative Research: Research Initiation Grant: Influence of Motivation on Learning Outcomes in an Engineering Service Course

Funding Agency: Engineering Education and Centers program of the National Science Foundation

Summary: Using social cognitive theory as our framework, we propose that students’ continued matriculation in engineering programs maybe due (in part) to their self-efficacy - the beliefs they hold about their capabilities. We have developed and validated measures to assess engineering self-efficacy and are currently testing the impact of an instructional intervention on self-efficacy in large general engineering courses. Our preliminary findings suggest a positive relationship between engineering self-efficacy and academic achievement. Although this study focuses on materials science engineering, we expect it will demonstrate how insights from educational psychology can be used to enhance achievement outcomes in similar courses in other engineering disciplines.

Participants: E. Usher (University of Kentucky).