Uncovering the role of emotion in engineering education within an integrated curricular experience

Nadia N. Kellam, Tracie Costantino, Joachim Walther, Nicki Wendy Sochacka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The purpose of this paper is to uncover the role of emotion within an interdisciplinary, projectbased design studio as implemented in 2009 and 2010. This qualitative research study involves a narrative analysis of data collected over two semesters of the design studios to identify the types of emotions described, the change in these emotions over the semester, and the interaction of these emotions with learning. This analysis is conducted on students' written reflections, as it is important to understand emotions from the perspective of the student and within the desired context. More specifically, the research study consisted of a narrative analysis of individual reflection reports written by students after participating in multiple reflective activities over the course of one semester. Two student narratives are highlighted in this analysis. The analysis of this data indicates that emotions at the high end of the activation spectrum, for example angry, tense, and excited, were described by the students as leading to critical learning incidents. The students described how their emotions changed over time as participating in the overall class or an individual project. The presence of high-activation emotions within the student narratives indicates that higher order thinking strategies were present. Additionally, the presence of negative emotions at the beginning of projects and positive emotions later in the project suggests a need for more scaffolding of projects and activities at the beginning of the time period and less later in the project or activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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