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Assessing the Intercultural Competence of Sophomore Mechanical Engineering Students: Baseline Data and Analysis Julia Thompson School of Engineering Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Assessing the Intercultural Competence of Sophomore Mechanical Engineering Students: Baseline Data and Analysis Julia Thompson School of Engineering Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assessing the Intercultural Competence of Sophomore Mechanical Engineering Students: Baseline Data and Analysis Julia Thompson School of Engineering Education Purdue University Prof. Brent Jesiek School of Engineering Education School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Purdue University This research was funded by a Purdue Engineer of 2020 Seed Grant

2 Calls for Global Engineering Education  Engineering students must attain: “the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.” – ABET EC2000, Criterion 3.h, 1997  “U.S. engineers must become global engineers. … They will have to be aware of socioeconomic changes and appreciate the impact of these changes on the social and economic landscape in the United States and elsewhere. The engineer of 2020 and beyond will need skills to be globally competitive over the length of her or his career.” – Linda Katehi, Educating the Engineer of 2020, 2005  “IT IS IMPERATIVE that all engineering students develop the skills and attitudes necessary to interact successfully with people from other cultural and national environments.” – Newport Declaration, 2009  “Goal 1: Graduates Effective in a Global Context – Purdue Engineers will be prepared for leadership roles in responding to the global, technological, economic, and societal challenges of the 21st century.” – Purdue Engineering Strategic Plan,

3 Global Engineering Education: Programs and Pathways ❖ Formats: Student exchange, extended field trip, extension campus abroad, internship or co-op, mentored travel, research abroad, domestic experiences, course work on global engineering ❖ In , up to 7.5% of all engineering students participated in some kind of substantial global program or experience [1] ❖ In 2008, RPI sets goal of 100% of engineering students abroad by 2015 [2] ❖ Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education (GEARE) [3] ❖ Launched by and affiliated with Purdue’s School of Mechanical Engineering ❖ Involves collaborations with universities in Germany, China, India and Mexico ❖ Students study and intern abroad, and work on multi-national team projects

4 What are some specific, desirable outcomes for global engineering programs and experiences?

5 Source: Yating Chang and E. D. Hirleman, Proceedings of the International Research and Education in Engineering (IREE) 2007 Grantees Conference: Summary and Recommendations, April 2008, available at https://engineering.purdue.edu/GEP

6 How do we know if students have achieved the desired outcomes?

7 ❖ Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), based on Bennett’s Development Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) [4] ❖ Six stages of development, from Denial to Integration Denial and Defense/Reversal – A person thinks that one culture is better than others Minimization – A person thinks that people are the same everywhere Acceptance and Adaptation – A person understands cultural differences and can adapt accordingly Assessing Global Competence: Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)

8 ❖ 50 questions ❖ Measures an individual’s “actual” and “perceived” levels of Intercultural Sensitivity, according to the DMIS model ❖ Shown to be cross-culturally generalizable, valid and reliable Source: Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) by IDI, LLC

9 Literature Review: IDI and Global Engineering ❖ John Brown University [5] ❖ Bland gives IDI to first-year engineering students to examine intercultural sensitivity levels. ❖ Findings: Large gap between perceived and actual levels of sensitivity. ❖ Georgia Tech [6] ❖ IDI data collected from 3,781 students, to examine demographic differences. ❖ Findings: Intercultural sensitivity notably higher among women compared to men. Higher among men who participate in the school’s International Plan (IP), as compared to non-IP sub-group. ❖ Georgetown University [7] ❖ Data from at 1,300 students in 61 different programs to see what aspects of the programs helped develop student’s intercultural sensitivity. ❖ Findings: Women have higher levels of sensitivity as compared to their male counterparts. Better gains for students who participate in planned study abroad experiences with host families and/or cultural mentors. Optimal gains for week experiences.

10 Participants & Context ❖ Participant total n=500 (527 responses, 27 incomplete) ❖ Sophomore mechanical engineering students (total n=487) enrolled in a technical writing course (ME290) at Purdue during Spring 2007 (n=80), Fall 2007 (n=138), Fall 2008 (n=140), and Spring 2009 (n=129) ❖ All GEARE students Spring 2008 (n=13, pre- experience) ❖ Detailed demographic data for Fall 2008 (n=138)

11 ❖ Average sensitivities largely consistent and stable across groups. ❖ Large gap between perceived and actual sensitivity levels, similar to Bland’s findings [5]. Gap larger as compared to other majors [8]. Results

12 ❖ GEARE students seem to have higher sensitivity levels, similar to Georgia Tech IP findings [6]. Poor statistical significance, however. ❖ Females have higher actual sensitivity as compared to their male counterparts, at statistically significant levels (p<0.005). Similar to other research findings [4,6,7]. ❖ Little disparity between students who have lived abroad for more than a year and those who have not. However, small sample size means lack of statistical significance.

13 Conclusions ❖ Global programs are expanding, and more pathways to becoming globally competent are emerging. ❖ Reporting baseline data on intercultural sensitivities can support future research and evaluation efforts, with goal of continuously improving global programs. ❖ The similarities between our findings and Georgia Tech’s indicate some notable commonalities among engineering student populations.

14 IDI: Opportunities & Challenges ❖ Opportunities ❖ Pre/post-experience comparisons ❖ Longitudinal studies ❖ Study large gaps between perceived and actual sensitivity ❖ Challenges ❖ Cost of instrument ❖ Trained evaluator required ❖ Not context specific

15 Continuing Research ❖ Comparison of pre/post-experience IDI results for students who participate in GEARE program ❖ Piloting other assessment instruments ❖ Miville-Guzman Universality-Diversity Scale, Short Form (MGUDS-S) [9] ❖ Open-ended scenario-based instruments to allow for evaluation of global competency in engineering contexts

16 References 1.Parkinson, A. Engineering Study Abroad Programs: Formats, Challenges, Best Practices. Online Journal of Engineering Education (2): Jackson, S. A. (2008, Monday, June 9, 2008). Pathways to Progress: Enhancing Engineering Education. Paper presented at the WEPAN 2008 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 3.Groll, E. A., & Hirleman, E. D. (2007). Undergraduate GEARE Program: Purdue University’s School of ME Contribution to Educating Globally Sensitive and Competent Engineers. Paper presented at the 6th ASEE Global Colloquium on Engineering Education, Istanbul, Turkey. 4.Hammer, M., Bennett, M., and Wiseman, R. Measuring Intercultural Sensitivity: The Intercultural Development Inventory. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, (4): Bland, L. Incorporating Global Issues into Freshman Engineering Course. Paper Presented at ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, June 24-27, Honolulu, HI. 6.Lohmann, J., Gordon, J., Harwell, K., McLaughlin, S., and Paraska, S. Annual Impact Report of the Quality Enhancement Plan on Student Learning: Strengthening the Global Competence and Research Experiences of Undergraduate Students. Atlanta, Georgia: Georgia Institute of Technology. Available at 2008%20FINAL%20WEB.pdf (Accessed January 8, 2010) %20FINAL%20WEB.pdf 7.Vande Berg, M. Intervening in Student Learning Abroad: A Research-Based Inquiry. Available at https://en.afs60.de/webcontent/files/MbM_Vande_Berg.pdf (Accessed January 8, 2010). https://en.afs60.de/webcontent/files/MbM_Vande_Berg.pdf 8.Patterson, P. Effect of Study Abroad on Intercultural Sensitivity. Doctoral Dissertation Columbia, MO: University of Missouri. Available at D5552/research.pdf (Accessed January 8, 2010).http://edt.missouri.edu/Fall2006/Dissertation/PattersonP D5552/research.pdf 9.Miville, M. L., Romans, J. S. C., Johnson, D., and Lone, R. Universal-Diverse Orientation: Linking Social Attitudes with Wellness. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy. 2004, October. 19(2):

17 Assessing the Intercultural Competence of Sophomore Mechanical Engineering Students: Baseline Data and Analysis Julia Thompson School of Engineering Education Purdue University Prof. Brent Jesiek School of Engineering Education School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Purdue University This research was funded by a Purdue Engineer of 2020 Seed Grant


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