Experts' and novices' perspectives on the priority of affective dimensions in civil engineering: A mixed methods study

Jeremi London, L. A.M. Christina, Jessica Borders, Logan Perry, Steven Ayer, W. U. Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Although some have called for engineering curricula that fully integrates learning in the head (cognitive), hand (skill), and heart (affective) domains, others acknowledge the difficulty of overhauling existing curriculum to adequately prioritize the ''heart''. The opinions of experts are often consulted to inform curricular changes, but this is rarely compared to the opinions of novices. There is a need for a better understanding of both experts' and novices' perspectives on the role of the ''heart'' in engineering education and in engineering work. With an emphasis on civil engineering, this study uses a convergent parallel mixed methods research design and Shulman's Three Apprenticeships framework to investigate expert and novice perspectives on the priority of affective constructs in undergraduate education and their approach to designing facilities for users with needs different from their own. Data was collected from civil engineering experts and novices at an annual regional civil engineering-focused conference. Results suggest experts and novices may have different perspectives on which values should be emphasized earlier versus later in civil engineering education. Implications of the results from this study suggest that while many values should be emphasized in engineering education, it might be important for educators to emphasize certain values (e.g., compassion) earlier rather than later to assist in the development of a well-rounded engineer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1640-1651
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2020


  • Affective dimensions
  • Civil engineering design
  • Expert vs. novice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)


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