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The Impact of Nonroutine Problems on Engagement of Undergraduate STEM Students

Sat, April 18, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Virtual Room


Retention of university STEM students is an issue increasingly confronting academic institutions. The proposed paper describes an intervention that aimed to increase student engagement in STEM courses. The intervention involved the integration of non-routine problem-solving during course lectures. It was hypothesized that the intervention would increase students’ behavioural engagement during lectures (H1) and, with repeated use, would result increases in students’ cognitive and emotional engagement over the course of the semester (H2). Results from an observational study offered support H1 by showing a marked decrease in student off-task behavior during the use of the invention in lecture. Analyses of pre/post-course self-report survey data offered mixed support for H2. All results and their implications are discussed in the paper.