2018 FYEE Conference

Full Paper: Examination of the Development of Grit in First-Year Engineering Students

Presented at Technical Session II

The effect of a first-year engineering course on student grit was examined. Students in an introduction to engineering design course worked in teams to complete design projects. Design prototypes and reports were completed as part of the course, while lectures were presented covering the topics of grit, project management, and interpersonal team building. Students completed a grit survey in the beginning of the course, and again after materials and activities used to develop grit were presented. Since both completing the requirements for an engineering degree and going on to work professionally as an engineer are not easily achieved, it is important for students to develop grit to ensure success in accomplishing these goals. Unfortunately, how a student develops grit can be difficult to understand. A self-reporting measure of grit was given to the students to examine their ability to sustain effort and interest in activities which span months or longer to complete. These traits have been found to predict achievement in challenging environments. The effectiveness of the course material on student grit was evaluated using a comparison of the students’ responses to the two surveys. After material on grit was presented, students who reported a high school GPA below a 3.0 were found to be less discouraged by setbacks, and less likely to be distracted from pursuing their long-term goals. Overall, female students reported more grit than male students.

  1. Dr. Jenahvive K. Morgan Michigan State University [biography]
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