Date of Award

8-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Industrial Engineering

Advisor

Mayorga, Maria

Committee Member

Kurz , Mary Beth

Committee Member

Benson , Lisa

Abstract

This paper explores the use of the VIE theory of Motivation in the field of Industrial Engineering Education. This work focuses on two different populations of students, college students who have chosen Industrial Engineering as a major and middle school students with a predisposition toward engineering. To start, we used a mixed methods sequential explanatory study to learn more about Clemson University department of Industrial Engineering students. Quantitatively, the study found that differences exist among different subsets of Industrial Engineering students. Female students have a higher motivation than male students do, and students with university sponsored project experience have a higher motivation than those who do not have the project experience. Qualitatively, 8 themes were identified by students as things that contributed to their motivation: Altruism, Enjoyment, Goals, Nature of IE Field and Material, Personal Characteristics, Professional Identity, Relationships, and Resources. Next, a quantitative study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of Industrial Engineering modules into a middle school pre-engineering class. Pre and post surveys were used to measure if students motivation to pursue industrial engineering increased over the course of the year. While no statistical differences were proven, anecdotal evidence proved the program was a success despite the inability of the quantitative tool to prove it. Using the VIE Theory of Motivation recommendations were made to both programs, the Clemson University Industrial Engineering Department and future engineering educators in the middle school setting.

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