MEASURING AUTHENTIC LEARNING WITHIN PURDUE UNIVERSITY’S EPICS PROGRAM
In this dissertation, I investigate the authentic learning experiences of students participating in the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program at Purdue University within the framework of authentic education. Utilizing a quantitative approach, the study assesses the performance of new and returning students across five key outcomes that measure authentic learning during a single semester. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed significant main effects for time of assessment and type of student on performance, with an overall improvement in all outcomes observed from mid-term to final evaluations and returning students typically outperforming new students. Interaction effects between time and type were also examined, revealing subtle yet complex dynamics in students’ learning trajectories. The findings hold implications for enhancing authentic learning, especially in engineering design contexts, and offer insights to guide future implementation of and improvements to authentic education initiatives, particularly the EPICS program. Despite certain limitations, the research opens avenues for future investigations into diverse aspects of authentic education in STEM and beyond.
- Doctor of Philosophy
- Curriculum and Instruction
- West Lafayette