2013 SEER Projects:

Self-Efficacy in First-Year Design Courses
Briana Saul,
Mississippi State University
Elizabeth Spingola, Ohio Northern University
Mentor: Professor Debbie Chachra, Olin College

For this project, Briana and Liz analyzed interviews with students in a first-year engineering design class. The students discussed various factors that related to their self-efficacy in engineering (that is, their confidence that they could complete engineering tasks), including role models and their experience in teams. They learned and use qualitative analysis techniques to find insights about student activities in the course, and how it contributed to their sense of belonging.


Using Video to Enhance Our Understanding of Undergraduate Team Experiences
April Chestnut,
MassBay Community College
Melinda Pontes, Smith College
Emily Luck, Needham High School
Mentor: Dr. Nick Tatar, Olin College

For this project we viewed videos of students working in teams and read self-reflection papers by students who watched those videos. We assessed the direction and nature of the feedback that was given in the self-reflection papers using achievement goal theory. We also laid down a foundation for analyzing the videos to see what feedback instructors would likely give students if they viewed the videos themselves. Descriptive statistics were generated to describe what analysis prompts were mostly likely to be used by the students as they studied their video and we explored the possibility that the direction and nature of the feedback was correlated to the analysis prompt that was chosen.


Spatial Skills, Self-Efficacy, and Student Learning
Tyler Hertenstein,
Ohio Northern University
Susan Benolken, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Mentors: Professor Meghan MacLean, Babson College and Professor Debbie Chachra, Olin College

In this project, Tyler and Susan created a tool in which to assess first-year undergraduate student's spatial skills, as well as their self-efficacy in those skills. The tool was created specifically to compare the skills of Babson College business students and Olin College engineering students. In creating the tool, Tyler and Susan researched current tools for assessing spatial skill and self-efficacy, as well as the many different facets of spatial skills.


Factors in Teaming Roles Within Projects
Deyna Aragon,
University of Texas at El Paso
Daniel Moreno, Cooper Union
Mentors: Professor Lynn Andrea Stein, Olin College and Dr. Amon Millner, Olin College

We analyzed data from several years of coursework, focused on teaming and team roles. This involved investigating of the background literature, constructing frameworks and categorization schemes, and creating clean quantitative datasets from the mixed quantitative and qualitative raw data. We have what appear to be some provisionally significant findings; some confirmatory analysis is necessary. We are in the process of conducting this follow-up work (largely at Olin) with the intention of submitting a paper. We also visited a site where some similar teaming projects were taking place, comparing and contrasting the teaming data from the coursework with this ongoing summer program.




2013 SEER Participants:

Elizabeth Spingola
Ohio Northern University



Susan Benolken
University of Minnesota, Mankato



Tyler Hertenstein
Ohio Northern University



April Rollins
Mississippi State University


Deyna Aragon
The University of Texas at El Paso


April Chestnut
MassBay Community College


Melinda Pontes
Smith College


Daniel Jibson
Teacher, Westwood High School


Geoffrey MacGillivary
MassBay Community College


Briana Saul
Louisiana State University


Adam Coppola
Olin College


Daniel Moreno
Cooper Union


Ryan Gnabasik
Creighton University


Emily Luck
Teacher, Needham High School