June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.341.1 - 26.341.11
Changing Attitudes in Cross Cultural Diversity through International Senior Capstone ProjectsIn this global world, today’s engineer is likely to have to work in global international teams withcolleagues from other nationalities. The challenge for many engineering curricula is how toinclude, in a realistic way, this global dimension and increase the student’s awareness of theissues that are encountered. In the _____ University engineering technology program an international capstone project wascreated to change attitudes and awareness of the challenges they will face in global projects. Thisinternational capstone project builds on the existing, industry sponsored, multi-disciplinarycapstone team project that is required of all students. In the international project, half of theteam members are students from a non-US university. The full team works on a projectproposed by companies with a global footprint in both the U.S. and in proximity to the foreigninstitution. The first two international teams are as follows: _____ University with the________, Germany sponsored by Lenze Corporation and ________University with _________,Poland sponsored by Eaton Corporation. Most of the global project is carried out using the fullrange of electronic communication tools such as email, skype, and blogs. In addition twoexchange trips are made with team members traveling to their opposite foreign location. Ideallythe first trip occurs near the initiation of the project for planning, organizing andconceptualization. One of the challenges is the synchronization of the two curricula and theacademic schedules of the two institutions.In order to assess whether this approach can increase awareness in global cultures, the MGUDS-S form which assesses cross cultural diversity was used to measure whether the outcome ofincreased awareness is being achieved. Data using the MGUDS-S survey was collected fromseveral populations: • the full senior engineering technology capstone class at _______ of 109 students, • a subset of that class which was the students who are participating in the international capstone experiences (7 students), • the third year class of electrical engineering students at _________, Germany, • the third year mechanical engineering class ____________, Poland and finally • the participants in the Global Village on The Move program held in Kazan, Russia.This latter group is made up of experienced professional business people and entrepreneurs fromaround the world including Russia, Mexico, Luxembourg, Australia, South Africa, Uzbekistan,Brazil, and Finland. This international group has quite different demographics than the othergroups and is being used as a reasonable benchmark for broad minded professionals already fullyaware of the potential benefits to cross cultural interactions.Initial results has confirmed that the benchmark group is statistically more advanced than theother groups in their interest to participate in diverse cultural activities and to appreciate thevalue that experiences with other cultures helps understand their own problems better. The paperdiscusses other variances that the data reveals.
Sanger, P. A., & Ziyatdinova, J., & Kropiwnicki, J., & Nguyen, P. V. (2015, June), Changing Attitudes in Cross-Cultural Diversity Through International Senior Capstone Projects Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23680
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