A final, optional open-ended question in the Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey (APPLES) that asked "Is there anything else you want to tell us that we didn't already cover?" elicited free form responses from 37 percent of the 4,266 survey participants. This paper explores their responses. After data cleaning, 880 responses were anonymized by individual and institution. The responses were rated on a numeric value (1-5) ranging from negative (criticizing) to neutral to positive (complementing). Responses were also coded using an emerging thematic coding scheme. The emergent topics were organized by whether the comments addressed school or individual issues. Topics suggested by the open-ended responses related to the School category were: Advising, Co-op, Gender, Social and Teaching (Curriculum) and Teaching (Language). These responses were mostly found to the extremes, both positive and negative, of the scale of positive/negative comments. Topics suggested by the open-ended responses related to the Individual Beliefs category were: (engineering as a) Calling, Challenge, Future, Lifestyle, Money and Understanding. These responses were mostly found to be neutral on the scale of positive/negative comments. Our analysis showed that the subjects' open-ended responses added qualitatively to student-voiced passions, concerns and experiences that could not be easily captured in a multiple choice question format.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings|
|State||Published - 2009|
- Open-ended survey responses
- Student academic experiences
ASJC Scopus subject areas