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Title: Impact of COVID Transition to Remote Learning on Engineering Self-Efficacy and Outcome Expectations
The outbreak of COVID-19 and sudden transition to remote learning brought many changes and challenges to higher education campuses across the nation. This paper evaluates the impact of the transition to remote learning on the engineering-related social cognitions of self-efficacy (belief in one’s abilities to successfully accomplish tasks in engineering) and outcome expectations (beliefs about the consequences of performing engineering behaviors). These social cognitions can be attributed to important academic and career outcomes, such as the development of STEM interests and goals (Lent et al., 2019) and may be especially important in the success of women in non-traditional fields such as engineering. As an extension to a NSF RIEF (Research Initiation in Engineering Formation) study evaluating engineering social cognitions, students in 8 engineering classes were surveyed at the beginning of Spring 2020 semester (N=224), shortly after the transition to remote learning (N = 190), and at the end of the semester (N=101). The classes surveyed included a common early engineering class at the sophomore level (Engineering Statics) and required junior level courses in different departments. The students were surveyed using reliable and validated instruments to measure engineering self-efficacy (Lent et al. 2005, Frantz et al. 2011), engineering outcome expectations (Lent et al. 2003, Lee et al. 2018), and engineering persistence intentions (Lent et al. 2003). The results show a gradual increase in the mean scores on the engineering self-efficacy and outcome expectation measures through the semester. Two tailed t-tests of matched participants showed no significance when comparing the data between the beginning and mid-semester surveys, as well as the mid-semester and end surveys. However, significance was found in the two engineering self-efficacy measures between the beginning and end of semester surveys. Results are compared across courses at different levels and across gender. Results indicate that despite the sudden change in instructional mode, students’ perceptions of engineering self-efficacy and outcome expectations showed a slight increase or no change.  more » « less
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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference
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Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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