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A Cross-National Investigation of Confidence in ABET Skills and Kolb Learning Styles: Korea and the United States

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

DEED Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.31.1 - 22.31.12



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Paper Authors


Kimberly Lau University of California, Berkeley

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Kimberly Lau is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Mary Kathryn Thompson KAIST

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Mary Kathryn Thompson is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). She is engaged in design research at the boundary, both within engineering and beyond, and is actively working on the development and application of formal design theories to civil, environmental, and urban engineering. Kate is the Director of the KAIST Freshman Design Program, which earned her both the KAIST Grand Prize for Creative Teaching and the Republic of Korea Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Award for Innovation in Engineering Education in 2009. She also received the Grand Prize at the 2009 International Conference on Axiomatic Design Theory for her paper on the synthesis of formal design theories for traffic intersections. She received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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Alice Merner Agogino University of California, Berkeley

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Alice M. Agogino is the Roscoe and Elizabeth Hughes Professor of Mechanical Engineering and is affiliated faculty at the Haas School of Business. She has served in a number of administrative positions at UC, Berkeley, including Associate Dean of Engineering and Faculty Assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost in Educational Development and Technology. She also served as Director for Synthesis, an NSF-sponsored coalition of eight universities with the goal of reforming undergraduate engineering education, and continues as PI for the Engineering Pathway ( educational digital library. She received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Mexico (1975), M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering (1978) from the University of California at Berkeley and Ph.D. from the Department of Engineering-Economic Systems at Stanford University (1984).
She has authored over 200 scholarly publications; has won teaching, best paper and research awards; and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). At NAE worked on the Technologically Speaking, Engineer and Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering projects. She has supervised 81 MS projects/theses, 33 doctoral dissertations and numerous undergraduate researchers.

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Diversity in Design Teams: An Investigation of Learning Styles and its Impact on TeamPerformanceWith ever-changing technologies and rising market competition, the need for innovation indesigning products and processes is increasingly important. Teamwork leads to innovationmore frequently than individual efforts, and new product development (NPD)organizations are embracing teams as their means to achieve creativity and innovation.This begs the question of how to best form and manage teams that will successfully buildquality products. In this paper, we examine the role of diversity on design teamperformance, and discuss how these diversity factors affect the dynamics and success of adesign team. In particular, we focus on learning styles, as defined by David Kolb’sExperiential Learning Theory, for its strong connection with the innovation process. Kolb’smodel defines four learning styles, each of which are highlighted in the different stages ofdesign, making learning style diversity an especially interesting factor to investigate. Wealso examine gender, ethnicity, and confidence in engineering and design skills.We present data gathered from two freshmen-level, project-based design courses offeredat University of California at Berkeley and Korea Advanced Institute of Science andTechnology. The projects are open-ended, real-world design challenges that allow studentsto explore a wide range of ideas in their design solutions as they work through the designprocess. The data was captured through a series of surveys, first to collect diversityinformation on learning styles and standard demographics, then to assess teamperformance as students reflected on their team interactions.Based on these results, we evaluate the overall impact of diversity on design teams, andprovide recommendations that will help inform design educators on how to best teachdesign teams and teamwork and to enhance overall team performance.

Lau, K., & Thompson, M. K., & Agogino, A. M. (2011, June), A Cross-National Investigation of Confidence in ABET Skills and Kolb Learning Styles: Korea and the United States Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17313

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