Developing an Interview Protocol for an Engineering Design Capstone Course to Measure Student Motivation and Engineering Identity
This thesis examines the process of developing an effective in-depth interview protocol to measure student motivation and engineering identity. Several methods were employed during the creation, refining, and analysis portions of this study to ensure reliability and validity of the qualitative research instrument. In a multifaceted course such as senior capstone design, it is integral to ensure students are receiving a value adding experience. In most universities across the United States, senior capstone design is a multiple semester sequence where design is heavily emphasized and students are encouraged to test their skills, both technical and nontechnical, by solving and implementing solutions to real industry problems. Given the nature of design courses, the takeaways are not things that can be measured solely through the use of a letter grade. Rather, an in-depth reflective interview must be performed to fully comprehend what students received from the course. In this study, an in-depth interview protocol was developed to understand the effectiveness of engineering design courses and improve design education as a whole. This paper outlines the phases that contribute towards the development of an effective interview protocol for implementation in senior capstone design curriculum. The formulation and considerations are outlined with respect to design curriculum and student success. This protocol will be utilized to perform a Reflection Interview for each senior design project team at the end of the spring 2019 semester. The assignment is not graded and is inquisitive on the students’ perceptions of motivation during their time at Florida Tech. The qualitative data gathered will be eligible for further studies and analysis.