Do Engineering Students See Themselves as the Innovators We Expect?

April 01, 2014 | 12:00 PM till 01:00 PM

Benedum 312


Engineering educators anticipate innovativeness and creativity as critical skills from their engineering graduates.  But what do students think about innovativeness and creativity?  Do they see themselves as proficient in these skills?  In this seminar, Dr. Purzer will present results from a qualitative study that explored 20 senior engineering students' perceptions of creativity and innovation.  Students from nine different engineering disciplines participated in two think-aloud protocols: an idea generation task and a process mapping task.  These protocols were followed by individual interviews.  Our analysis showed that students valued creativity in the context of innovation, but had difficulty consolidating their technical and creative identities.  The seminar will conclude with an activity on the implications of this research and engage attendees in a discussion on specific teaching strategies that support creative behaviors and confidence in engineering students.

PRESENTER:  Senay Purzer is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University.  She is a NAE/CASEE New Faculty Fellow and the recipient of a 2012 NSF CAREER award.  Her research laboratory, Engineering Learning Observatory, houses projects on video and discourse analysis methods to examine engineering students' approaches to innovation, design thinking, and collaborative decision-making processes.  She currently teaches courses on educational research methods and Introduction to Engineering.  Senay is a director in ASEE Educational Research and Methods Division (ERM) and an editorial board member of Science Education and the Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education (JPEER).  She received a B.S.E. with distinction in Engineering at Arizona State University in 2009 as well as a B.S. degree in Physics Education in 1999.  Her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees are in Science Education from Arizona State University.