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  1. This full research paper presents the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) results for the Professional Skill Opportunities survey (PSO) we designed to measure undergraduate engineering students’ opportunities to develop and practice important nontechnical professional skills. We use Dall’alba’s “ways of being” as the theoretical framework for the survey development and generated construct definitions based on past literature, expert review, and cognitive think-aloud interviews. We administered the survey in an engineering class at the beginning of the Spring 2022 semester. After comparing the three EFA models based on goodness-of-fit indices and model interpretability aligned to the theoretical model, the researchers selected a five-factor model. The EFA result and literature on leadership and teamwork showed these two skills are highly interrelated and could be combined into one construct to stress the “sharedness” of leadership responsibilities in teams. The result allowed our team to refine our item pool, revise construct definitions, and generate new items. In future work, we will administer the revised PSO survey to the same population at the end of the same semester as further validation. We also plan to explore the relationship between professional skill development opportunities and students’ social support. We hope the PSO survey can provide educators and institutions a means to offer scaffoldings and more opportunities for professional skill development and better prepare students for the engineering workforce. 
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  2. This Research Work-In-Progress reports the implementation of an Object Assembly Test for sketching skills in an undergraduate mechanical engineering graphics course. Sketching is essential for generating and refining ideas, and for communication among team members. Design thinking is supported through sketching as a means of translating between internal and external representations, and creating shared representations of collaborative thinking. While many spatial tests exist in engineering education, these tests have not directly used sketching or tested sketching skill. The Object Assembly Test is used to evaluate sketching skills on 3-dimensional mental imagery and mental rotation tasks in 1- and 2-point perspective. We describe revisions to the Object Assembly Test skills and grading rubric since its pilot test, and implement the test in an undergraduate mechanical engineering course for further validation. We summarize inter-rater reliability for each sketching exercise and for each grading metric for a sample of sketches, with discussion of score use and interpretation. 
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  3. This Research Work In Progress Paper examines empirical evidence on the impacts of feedback from an intelligent tutoring software on sketching skill development. Sketching is a vital skill for engineering design, but sketching is only taught limitedly in engineering education. Teaching sketching usually involves one-on-one feedback which limits its application in large classrooms. To meet the demands of feedback for sketching instruction, SketchTivity was developed as an intelligent tutoring software. SketchTivity provides immediate personalized feedback on sketching freehand practice. The current study examines the effectiveness of the feedback of SketchTivity by comparing students practicing with the feedback and without. Students were evaluated on their motivation for practicing sketching, the development of their skills, and their perceptions of the software. This work in progress paper examines preliminary analysis in all three of these areas. 
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  4. Freehand sketching is a powerful skill in engineering design [1, 2]. Freehand sketching empowers designers in the early stages of design to express ideas, communicate with stakeholders, and evaluate concepts at a rapid pace. However, teaching sketching in engineering education poses unique challenges for the classroom. Sketching in other domains is often taught in studio-style courses where instructors can provide personalized feedback on technique. This type of feedback is not possible in typical large entry-level engineering graphics courses. To address this problem, Sketchtivity was developed as an intelligent tutoring software to aid instructors in providing feedback on sketching. Using a tablet and smart pen, learners receive real-time personalized feedback on sketching practice. The main goals of this project are to improve sketching instruction methods, understand the educational efficacy of Sketchtivity, and work towards improving the feedback and content of Sketchtivity. 
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  5. As the need for interdisciplinary collaboration increases, industry needs engineers who are not only affluent in technical engineering skills but also efficient in skills such as communication, problem-solving, engineering ethics, and business management. As a result, engineering programs are tasked with providing students with sufficient opportunities to develop non-technical professional skills to better prepare them for the workforce. Previous research has focused on exploring how and where students tend to develop profession skills and assessments have been established to measure the level of professional skills. However, without a means to measure whether students are getting sufficient opportunities for development, it is hard for educators and engineering programs to determine whether or where scaffolding are needed. We developed an instrument to assess undergraduate engineering students’ opportunities for professional skill development. To increase content validity, we conducted 20 think-aloud interviews with students from a large Midwestern university. The aim of this WIP is two-fold. We present the preliminary results of the think-aloud interview to determine what changes need to be made to existing items and what emerging themes appear regarding to participants’ professional skill development opportunities. After thematic analysis of the interview transcripts, we revised 10 items by simplifying the grammar or altering certain words that tend to confuse participants or carry negative connotations. We found that, compared to students who have only been involved in class projects, those with co-curricular experiences tend to report more opportunities in skills related to business management principles and problem-solving skills. Co-curricular activities were also the most referenced in building communication skills. Our next step will be piloting the instrument across multiple institutions and conducting validation analysis. 
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