June 22, 2013
June 22, 2013
June 22, 2013
ASEE International Forum
21.15.1 - 21.15.13
Assessing the Spectrum of International Undergraduate Engineering Educational Experiences International experiences are increasingly viewed as an important component ofengineering education. For accreditation, every engineering program must demonstrate that itsgraduates possess “the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineeringsolutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.” While it is left to eachindividual program to define what this outcome means and how it would be measured, implied isa requirement that engineering programs begin to address “global competency.” Yet little hasbeen done to define engineering global competency, specify alternatives for achieving globalcompetency, or determine to what degree global competency is the result of personal attributes,prior experiences, or curricular and even extra-curricular experiences. This paper presents results from the first phase of a multi-part study funded by theNational Science Foundation’s Research in Engineering Education (REE) initiative thatinvestigates how international experiences both in and outside of formal curricula impactengineering students’ global competency. To date, most evidence regarding impact ofinternational experience on engineering students is anecdotal, with little empirical research toguide educational practices. However, this anecdotal evidence does suggest that students whoparticipate in an international collaborative activities experience a unique set of challenges andopportunities that directly contribute to their acquiring the knowledge, skills, and behaviors of aglobally competent engineer. We develop a conceptual model for a globally competent engineerthat identifies the requisite knowledge, skills, and awareness, and the types of learningexperiences necessary to produce such an engineer. This study employed a Delphi method, a consensus-building process among carefullyselected experts who engage in interactive communication exercises to develop themes about atopic. Eighteen subject matter experts (SMEs) were recruited in approximately equal proportionfrom international education associations, universities with recognized international engineeringprograms, leaders in engineering education assessment, practitioners, government and industryrepresentatives. This Delphi, designed with three rounds and a final face-to-face summit, firstasked participants to respond to two open-ended questions: What are the specific knowledge,skills, awareness or values that you think characterize a globally prepared engineer? What arethe most effective types of learning experiences in producing (graduating) a globally preparedengineer? The responses from participants were content analyzed and used to develop a closed-form questionnaire distributed to participants in the second round of data collection. Participantsrank-ordered statements developed by researchers from the qualitative responses. Theresearchers included statements that majority of participants (> 80%) agreed upon as essential ininternational engineering education. The third and final rounds gave SMEs an opportunity torevise their judgments and clarify the reasons for disagreement with the statements. Results from this study broaden the knowledge base about how engineering studentsacquire global competence and the contextual factors that influence this acquisition. Thisresearch provides faculty with actionable information about institutional factors, curricular andextracurricular practices, and how these relate to student learning outcomes.
Besterfield-Sacre, M. E., & Ragusa, G., & Matherly, C., & Phillips, S. R., & Shuman, L. J., & Howard, L. (2013, June), Assessing the Spectrum of International Undergraduate Engineering Educational Experiences Paper presented at 2013 ASEE International Forum, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/17220
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