Lucietto, A. M., & Moss, J. D., & French, M.
Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27418
The lack of rigorous research focused on engineering technology students leaves administrators and practitioners in this area without adequate resources to advise and guide this unique population. This absence of research can most likely be attributed to smaller student populations as compared to other related fields, receiving attention, such as engineering. A preliminary systemic review reveals that research defining whom the engineering technology students are and how they think is largely unavailable. This study is expected to further improve our understanding of engineering technology students and how they change over time. Both freshman and senior engineering technology students were asked to complete the Gregorc Style Delineator. 1 This instrument allows the investigation of how these students perceive and order their thoughts within four defined areas of abstraction and logic referred to as mediation channels. Gregorc asserts that these channels of mediation facilitate how we relate to the world via a psychological style.2 Gregorc found that humans have comparable amounts of all the abilities assessed in the instrument. However, he does state that we are naturally predisposed to using two mediation channels. This predisposition of using two mediation channels provides differentiation between one person and another. Gregorc asserts that these differences can lead to conflict and misunderstandings.1 This study found that the mediation channels which are most often seen in engineering technology varies by gender. The findings of this study show that mediation channels vary among female students and are evenly distributed over all mediation channels, while male students are most often concrete in how they perceive and prefer sequential ordering of their thoughts. This may be attributed to the lower number of female students, due to this the recommendations focus on the instrument results for the male students. Also, these results suggest that practitioners should be designing classroom experiences that focus on students who are concrete/sequential and concrete/random styles, resulting in structured, predictable, and logical presentation of materials. Overall, these students prefer iterative solutions and use of intuition.