Exploring the Impacts of EML on Student Motivation and Identity

Exploring the Impacts of EML on Student Motivation and Identity

On November 15, 2017, the Engineering Education Department (EED) was awarded a grant in the amount of $293,707 from the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN). The EED will use the grant to accelerate implementation of a culture and curricula that instills the entrepreneurial mindset in undergraduate engineering students. The KEEN-supported project, entitled “Exploring the Impacts of Entrepreneurially-Minded Learning (EML) on Student Motivation and Identity from Pilot to Scale in a First-Year Engineering Course,” will facilitate development and implementation of teaching methods incorporating EML; training of other engineering faculty in these methods; and, ultimately, dissemination of EML-related findings throughout the College of Engineering, among other KEEN schools, and to the broader engineering education community.

KEEN is a nationwide partnership of undergraduate engineering programs whose mission is “to graduate engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset so they can create personal, economic, and societal value through a lifetime of meaningful work.” Founded in 2005, KEEN has partnered with over 30 engineering programs across the country to promote EML through curriculum development, collaborative research, and nation-wide conferences and events.

Ohio State became a KEEN partner in May 2017, joining such institutions as Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Villanova University, Lafayette College, and Baylor University. Prior to joining KEEN as a partner, EED faculty participated in several KEEN-related conferences, workshops, and meetings, demonstrating a long-standing commitment to EML and working collaboratively with KEEN partners. As a KEEN partner, the EED will continue to advance KEEN’s mission in the University and beyond.

The EED’s project “Exploring the Impacts of EML on Student Motivation and Identity” is a major step in this direction. Over the course of 18 months (January 2018-August 2019), the KEEN team in the EED will introduce significant elements of EML into existing sections of the EED’s first-year engineering design course while measuring the effects of EML on student motivation and identity. The team hypothesizes, and hopes to prove, that motivated students are more curious, feel a stronger sense of connection with their work, and through such work, are more capable and competent in creating value in society. In other words, these students will develop the identity of entrepreneurial-minded engineers.

This pilot project will expose approximately 648 first-year students, 27 undergraduate teaching assistants, 8 graduate teaching associates and 20 faculty and staff to EML practices. Ultimately, the EED intends to scale up the EML curriculum, integrating EML practices throughout all courses in the department, directly impacting 4,000 students, 170 undergraduate teaching assistants, 20 graduate teaching associates, and 40 faculty and staff. The EED plans to share its findings with KEEN schools as well as with the larger engineering and engineering education community through publications, conference presentations, and workshops. 


Learn more about KEEN at Engineering Unleashed website.