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Characterizing Students’ Intercultural Competence Development Paths Through a Global Engineering Program

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Practice I: Academic Success

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

25

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30187

Download Count

17

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Paper Authors

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Kirsten Davis Virginia Tech

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Kirsten Davis is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech, where she also completed her master's degree in Higher Education. She is the graduate assistant for the Rising Sophomore Abroad Program, a global engineering course and study abroad program for first year engineering students. Her primary research interests are engineering study abroad, developing intercultural competency in engineering students, and international higher education.

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David Reeping Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0803-7532

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David Reeping is a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech and is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. He received his B.S. in Engineering Education with a Mathematics minor from Ohio Northern University. He was a Choose Ohio First scholar inducted during the 2012-2013 school year as a promising teacher candidate in STEM. David was the recipient of the Remsburg Creativity Award for 2013 and the DeBow Freed Award for outstanding leadership as an undergraduate student (sophomore) in 2014. He is also a member of the mathematics, education, and engineering honor societies: Kappa Mu Epsilon, Kappa Delta Pi, and Tau Beta Pi respectively. He has extensive experience in curriculum development in K-12 and creates material for the Technology Student Association's annual TEAMS competition. David has co-authored two texts related to engineering, Principles of Applied Engineering for Pearson-Prentice Hall and Introductory Engineering Mathematics for Momentum Press.

His research interests include: model/method transferability, threshold concepts to inform curriculum development, information asymmetry in higher education processes (e.g., course articulation), and issues in first year engineering.

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Ashley R. Taylor Virginia Tech

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Ashley Taylor is a doctoral candidate in engineering education at Virginia Polytechnic and State University, where she also serves as a program assistant for the Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity and an advisor for international senior design projects in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Ashley received her MS in Mechanical Engineering, MPH in Public Health Education, and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. Her research interests include broadening participation in engineering, the integration of engineering education and international development, and building capacity in low and middle income countries through inclusive technical education.

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Cherie D. Edwards Virginia Tech

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Dr. Cherie D. Edwards is a Postdoctoral Associate in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Research and Evaluation from Virginia Tech. Her research and scholarship are focused on exploring the implementation of mixed methods, qualitative, and arts-informed research designs in studies examining issues of social justice and educational equity. Currently, she is on a research team examining the impacts of an out-of-school STEM summer program for racially underrepresented youth.

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Homero Gregorio Murzi Virginia Tech

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Homero Murzi is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He holds degrees in Industrial Engineering (BS, MS), Master of Business Administration (MBA) and in Engineering Education (PhD). His research focuses on contemporary and inclusive pedagogical practices, environmental, ethics and humanitarian engineering, and non-traditional knowledge transfer. Homero has been recognized as a Fulbright scholar and was inducted in the Bouchet Honor Society.

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David B. Knight Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4576-2490

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David Knight is Assistant Professor and Assistant Department Head for Graduate Programs in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He is also Director of International Engagement in Engineering Education and affiliate faculty with the Higher Education Program at Virginia Tech. His research tends to be at the macro-scale, focused on a systems-level perspective of how engineering education can become more effective, efficient, and inclusive.

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Abstract

This research paper characterizes different student experiences within a global engineering program. As the engineering workplace becomes more globalized, it is important for engineering students to be exposed to different cultures and ways of approaching engineering. Increasing numbers of global engineering programs are being developed to address this need, but outcomes for the programs vary. Research has begun to explore how specific types of programs may influence student learning differently. However, another variable to consider is the students themselves. Due to students’ varied backgrounds and prior experiences, different students may experience the same global program differently. Accordingly, we will address the following mixed methods research question: How can we characterize varied student developmental experiences within a global program? In particular, this study will examine broad patterns in the development of intercultural competence (quantitative analysis) and the global experiences associated with these patterns (qualitative analysis).

This mixed methods study explores the variation in student experiences in a global engineering program by employing the cross-case comparison analysis technique. The global program under study involved a semester-long course on global engineering practice followed by a two-week study abroad module at the end of the semester. Students completed the Cultural Intelligence Inventory (CQS) on the first day of class, last day of class, and after the conclusion of the international experience. Student scores on the four CQS sub-scales from each of the three administrations of the survey were used in a cluster analysis to find trajectories of intercultural competence development. This process identified different “paths” of development over the course of the global program (e.g., students who start off with relatively high intercultural competence and grow a small amount by the end of the program vs. those who start with little and experience more growth). We next compared student journals across clusters to further characterize these developmental paths. Journals were coded for themes within a cluster and then compared across clusters to see if there are unique aspects to the experiences described by students in each cluster. This study will further the research on global engineering programs by exploring how such a program may influence students in different ways. Understanding this has implications for both research and practice. Research has often focused on the types or components of global programs as a factor in the outcomes, but this study will explore possible variations of experience within a single program. In addition, this study leverages a mixed-methods approach to connect changes in intercultural competence to patterns in students’ experiences of the global engineering program. This provides an example of how data can be meaningfully mixed to draw more powerful inferences than either data source could provide alone. From a practice perspective, this study will offer insights into the different ways students experience a global engineering program and develop intercultural competence, allowing practitioners to adapt program components to accommodate these different developmental paths.

Davis, K., & Reeping, D., & Taylor, A. R., & Edwards, C. D., & Murzi, H. G., & Knight, D. B. (2018, June), Characterizing Students’ Intercultural Competence Development Paths Through a Global Engineering Program Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30187

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