Developing an instrument to measure engineering education research self-efficacy

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Abstract

This research paper focuses on the design and development of a survey instrument to measure engineering education research self-efficacy (EERSE), or the self-perceived ability to conduct research in the area of engineering education. A total of 28 items were initially written to measure this construct along three dimensions: general research tasks such as synthesizing literature and presenting research findings at a conference (12 items), quantitative research tasks such as designing a survey instrument and choosing an appropriate statistical technique for data analysis (7 items), and qualitative research tasks such as creating an interview protocol and describing patterns seen across a set of interviews (9 items). The instrument was electronically administered in the spring of 2019 to three groups: (1) U.S. faculty members who conduct EER, (2) U.S. graduate students enrolled in engineering education doctoral programs, and (3) Indian faculty members who are new to but interested in conducting EER. An exploratory factor analysis revealed three factors along the expected general, quantitative, and qualitative research dimensions. Cronbach's alpha for the three dimensions ranged between 0.81 and 0.88, indicating high internal consistency between the items. The U.S faculty members reported higher self-efficacy related to performing general research tasks than both U.S. graduate students and Indian faculty members did. They also reported higher self-efficacy related to performing qualitative research tasks than Indian faculty members did. There were no differences in self-efficacy related to performing quantitative research tasks among the three groups. Practically speaking, this instrument has the potential to be helpful for evaluating the efficacy of trainings and workshops focused on increasing the EERSE of faculty and students. Engineering education researchers can also use this instrument as a tool to self-reflect on their research capabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number465
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Volume2020-June
StatePublished - Jun 22 2020
Event2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 22 2020Jun 26 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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