Work in progress: Understanding student successes, challenges, and perceptions of community

Deepak R. Keshwani, Jennifer Keshwani

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The Biological Systems Engineering department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) has two undergraduate programs in engineering (agricultural engineering and biological systems engineering), and one undergraduate program in mechanized systems management which is an agricultural systems management/technology (ASMT) program. The overall goal of this study is to understand student perception of community in the context of the department's academic programs, and identify strategies to build community among ASMT students to positively impact student retention and student success in team-based learning environments. Sophomores in the ASMT program enrolled in a required problem solving and technical communication course taught by the department during the Spring 2018 semester were the focus of this study. During the course of the semester, students were asked to complete short qualitative survey questions related to successes and challenges encountered as students, and their perceptions of community. Broadly defined questions were selected for this study to avoid biasing of responses. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained for the study. There were 25 students enrolled in the class and 16 students provided consent to be included in this study. The data analysis procedure followed is based on the model of thematic analysis which starts by identifying conceptual thematic codes through review of responses for each question. Results indicate that ASMT students have some similarities with their engineering counterparts, but place a stronger focus on relationships and building connections. Students valued the use of group projects as a way to build community and noted the importance of classroom management to build community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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