Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition
June 24-27, 2017
The purpose of this study was to understand the how’s, why’s, and what’s behind students’ motivational orientation in a first-year engineering technology course, following a mechatronic project. To accomplish this, we implemented an eight-week treatment that required 61 students to design and integrate a software program to control an electro-mechanical robotic system. Using non-parametric quantitative analyses of pre-/post-survey responses we found that students’ median motivational orientation score,on the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire, was significantly lower (Mdndiff= -0.34; W = 1360; p-value = 0.0111) following the mechatronic project (i.e., they were less motivated to engage in the learning process following the project). However, when asked directly,a significantly larger proportion of students reported that it was motivating(= 0.90; p-value < 0.010). To clarify these divergent results, we used a mix of text-mining algorithms and word stem frequency analyses to examine open-ended student responses. From this we discovered the word stems work*, project*, learn*, program*, want*, see*, motiv*, androbot*to be the most prevalent used for “why” the mechatronic project was motivating;the word stems work*, code*, get*, motiv*, robot*, see*, project*, want*, and complet* were the most commonly reported for “what” motivated students. From this we start to uncover the “why’s” and “what’s” behind students’ motivation: namely, that the visual and physical aspects of the mechatronic project were motivating to them.
American Society for Engineering Education
Haughery, John R.; Raman, D. Raj; Kaleita, Amy L.; and Freeman, Steven A., "Toward Understanding the Impacts, Whys, and Whats Behind Mechatronic-based Projects and Student Motivation" (2017). Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Conference Proceedings and Presentations. 531.