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Affective Outcomes in Engineering Education

Author: Loretta McKinniss
Event Date: October 29, 2009
Speaker: Denise Wilson
Speaker Affiliation: University of Washington
Time: 3:30-4:30pm
Location: FRNY B124
Open To: Faculty, Staff, Students and Visitors


Affective outcomes are highly under-represented in engineering education research at less than 1% of the overall body of education research in these technical fields.   Yet, affective outcomes are a major player in the retention of women in engineering at the undergraduate level and are known at K-12 and higher education, to have profound impacts on academic performance.  This talk looks at how to select established (reliable and valid) affective outcomes and examples of how to fold them into existing engineering education research in a meaningful and informative way.   Belonging and its companion outcome, psychological sense of community, often impact students at the very start of their programs, through persistence and retention.  Self-efficacy and locus-of-control can have a more direct impact on academic performance, influencing test anxiety and team performance.  Broader relational measures create scaffolding to hold students stable through difficult academic times.   Whether by self-report or by observation, these measures can be captured with equivalent rigor to cognitive outcomes and support evolving understanding of the complex dynamics in the undergraduate engineering environment.