Campus Units

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


First Page


Conference Title

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Conference Date

June 24-27, 2018


Salt Lake City, UT


This study built on previous research that found significant differences in the mean level of academic success (i.e., course grades) for students who participated in a mechatronic experience (i.e., integrating mechanical, electronic, and computer systems) vs. those who did not. This paper further examined this variation in course grades by conducting a two-way Analysis of Covariance to understand the impact academic major (i.e., technology major vs. non-technology major) and group assignment (i.e., control vs. treatment) had, while controlling for pre-study covariates of GPA, ACT, age, and technical experience. When adjusting for differences in ACT and GPA scores, we found significant main effects for group assignment (expected), but not for major (unexpected). Furthermore, no interaction effects where found between academic major and group assignment. When analyzing age and previous technical experience level (i.e., mechanical, electrical, and computer systems), we found age to be a significant predictor of course grades, while previous experience (in any area) was not. This would indicate that younger students performed better in the course, while, contrary to education theory, previous technical experience had no impact on course grades. This study used a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent group design with a convenience sample of n = 84 students in a first-year technology course. It looks to expand the empirical foundations supporting the impacts of mechatronic experiences on academic success.


This proceeding is published as Haughery, John R. "Mechatronics and Academic Success: Towards Understanding the Impacts of Age, Major, and Technical Experience." Paper ID #22460. 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition. Salt Lake City, UT. Posted with permission.


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American Society for Engineering Education



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