Walton, Shannon Deonne (2010-12). Exploring the Relationship between Resilience and Learning Styles as Predictors of Academic Persistence in Engineering. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • In recent years, engineering education has witnessed a sharp increase in research aimed at the outcomes of academic success and persistence within engineering programs. However, research surrounding the key forces shaping student persistence remains unknown. This study explores enhancements and broader perspectives of learning; the relationship among dimensions of resilience theory and learning styles in engineering students to identify elements of both that contribute towards academic persistence and to determine which components of both contribute towards strengthening students' academic persistence in engineering. The study was conducted using two quantitative self-reporting instruments to measure resilience and learning style preference, the Personal Resilience Questionnaire (PQR) and the Index of Learning Styles (ILS). Retention was measured as the continuous enrollment of a student into the second semester of the first-year engineering program. Results indicate that the following have a statistically significant effect on student persistence in engineering programs at Texas A&M University: learning style construct sequential; resilience constructs positive (self) and focus; with both tools combined, positive (self), organized, positive (world), flexibility (self) and focus; and a newly combined construct, Walton's self-efficacy.
  • In recent years, engineering education has witnessed a sharp increase in research aimed at the outcomes of academic success and persistence within engineering programs. However, research surrounding the key forces shaping student persistence remains unknown. This study explores enhancements and broader perspectives of learning; the relationship among dimensions of resilience theory and learning styles in engineering students to identify elements of both that contribute towards academic persistence and to determine which components of both contribute towards strengthening students' academic persistence in engineering.



    The study was conducted using two quantitative self-reporting instruments to measure resilience and learning style preference, the Personal Resilience Questionnaire (PQR) and the Index of Learning Styles (ILS). Retention was measured as the continuous enrollment of a student into the second semester of the first-year engineering program.



    Results indicate that the following have a statistically significant effect on student persistence in engineering programs at Texas A&M University: learning style construct sequential; resilience constructs positive (self) and focus; with both tools combined, positive (self), organized, positive (world), flexibility (self) and focus; and a newly combined construct, Walton's self-efficacy.

publication date

  • December 2010