The mediator effects of imagination between learning environment and academic performance: a comparison between science and engineering majors

  • Ming-Chieh Hsu
  • Chenwei Chiang
  • Chaoyun LiangEmail author


The purpose of the present study was twofold: (1) to examine the mediator effects of imagination between learning environment and academic performance, and (2) to compare differences between the environment–imagination–performance structural models of science and engineering majors. A survey was administered at eight universities across different regions of Taiwan. The participants in this study were divided into two groups. The first group consisted of 529 science majors, whereas the second group consisted of 523 engineering majors. A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to confirm the structure of the measures employed in this study. A structural equation modeling was used to test all the hypotheses proposed. With respect to the science group, our results showed that, through the mediation of imagination, learning resources had a dominant impact on academic performance, whereas both human aggregate and organizational measure had moderate influences. In contrast, among the engineering group, both human aggregate and social climate had relatively strong effects on academic performance, whereas both learning resources and organizational measure had mild influence. These findings seem promising enough to warrant further inquiry. They also provide insights for fields in which imaginative talent and creative performance are essential. Finally, practical applications of the present study were suggested, limitations were acknowledged, and future research was discussed.


Academic performance Engineering education Imagination Learning environment Science education 



The current study is part of the research Project (NSC102-2511-S-002-009-MY2) supported by Taiwan’s National Science Council. The authors would like to acknowledge Wei-Sheng Lin for his valuable contributions in statistical analysis. The authors would also like to extend their gratitude to the insightful suggestions of anonymous International Journal of Technology and Design Education reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information CommunicationYuan Ze UniversityZhongliTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Bio-Industry Communication and DevelopmentNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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