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Research on students' views of the nature of engineering



The Solar Economy (SEIGERT)


Purdue University
(West Lafayette, IN)


Rakesh Agrawal

Research Achievements

Research on students' views of the nature of engineering

Research across a variety of disciplines has shown that students’ beliefs are a key predictor of learning and achievement, as well as students’ choice of learning strategies for courses in a discipline. Bodner has developed instruments to probe students’ views of the nature of engineering at various stages in their epistemic development. Results obtained with first-year engineering students suggested that these students not necessarily had well-articulated views of the engineering process. Their images of the process of engineering were often unsophisticated in terms of their understanding of the complexity of real-world engineering problems, the role of failure as well as prior success in engineering design, the importance of working with non-engineers, and so on. Bodner recommended that an explicit discussion of the nature of engineering should be incorporated in first-year engineering programs. The findings have been submitted for publication in International Journal of Engineering