This paper presents the findings of a study comparing the motivational factors and performance of two mechanical engineering senior capstone design course cohorts: 2014 and 2015 students. The study measures the motivation of students throughout capstone, a non-traditional course, and the impacts motivation had on their course performance (peer evaluations and team grade). The second cohort participated in an intervention plan during a design methodologies course completed the semester prior to senior capstone design. Quantitative data was collected at both the beginning and end of the course; whereas, qualitative data was collected at the end of the course. Our method utilizes an adapted version of the Motivational Student Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). The survey asks a variety of questions to measure the performance and motivation levels of the student. Performance factors studied are cognitive value and self-regulation. Motivation factors include presentation anxiety, intrinsic value, and self-efficacy. Statistical analysis is performed among the factors, cohort populations, and within the population (male versus females and domestic versus international) to identify if a correlation exists with student course performance. Amongst other findings, the results indicate the student’s experienced positive change due to participation in the intervention plan.

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