Engineering and Physics Faculty Research and Publications


The Hidden Person within the Frustrated Student: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of a Student's Experience in a Programming Course

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



This research paper presents the findings of an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) of a student’s experience of frustration in the context of an introductory programming course. We contend that the embodied experience of frustration is ubiquitous yet underexplored within the context of engineering and science education. After interviewing the participant, we analyzed the interview transcript using IPA, a qualitative research method that provides the researcher with a tool to generate coherent insight on complex psychological experiences. In this paper, we present seven themes that demonstrate how the student’s frustration experience was connected to his identity formation, experience in shame, and maladaptive help-seeking behaviors.


This paper was presented at the 2017 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference held on June 24-28, 2017.

Copyright held by

American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)