In order to increase the number of American degree recipients in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), academics must continually develop ways to improve students’ interest, retention, and success in fields like engineering. Prior researchers have studied the use of educational technology as a way to improve student outcomes and skills. Previous scholars have also investigated students’ perceptions of the usefulness of technology. However, it is unclear if a statistically significant relationship exists between students’ involvement in courses that use technology and their sense of belonging to others on campus. The present study addressed this gap by examining the relationship between technology, students’ class involvement, and their feelings of connectedness to others. This investigation sought to answer the following research questions: (a) Are there differences in undergraduates’ involvement in courses that use technology by college major, race/ethnicity, or gender? (b) Are there differences in undergraduates’ feelings of connectedness to others on campus due to technology by college major, race/ethnicity, or gender? (c) What is the relationship between students’ involvement in technology-based courses and perceptions of technology’s impact on their feelings of connectedness to others on campus? Data was analyzed for close to 500 students using a 2013 national administration of the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology Survey Questionnaire. Findings from this analysis suggest that (a) students who get more involved in courses that use technology are significantly more likely to believe that technology makes them feel connected to others on campus – indicating a sense of belonging, and (b) students who identify as female, part-time or non-engineering majors are more likely to believe that technology makes them feel more connected to others on campus.
2016 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition
New Orleans, Louisiana
Required Publisher’s Statement
© 2016 American Society for Engineering Education
Scholarly Commons Citation
Long, L. L., III. (2016). How undergraduates’ involvement affects sense of belonging in courses that use technology. Proceedings from 2016 American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exposition. New Orleans, LA. doi:10.18260/p.25491