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Comparative Assessment of Scaled Global Engineering Initiatives

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2014 ASEE International Forum

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Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 14, 2014

Start Date

June 14, 2014

End Date

June 14, 2014

Conference Session

Track 2 - Session 2

Tagged Topic

Curriculum and Lab Development

Page Count

11

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20.8.1 - 20.8.11

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https://peer.asee.org/17171

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38

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Dianne J DeTurris California Polytechnic State University

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Jane L. Lehr California Polytechnic State University

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Jane Lehr is Associate Professor in Ethnic Studies and Women's & Gender Studies at California Polytechnic State University. She is also Faculty Director of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority and Underrepresented Student Participation (LSAMP) in STEM Program at Cal Poly and Co-Director of the Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Program. She previously served as elected co-chair of the Science & Technology Taskforce of the National Women's Studies Association, and as a Post-Doctoral Research Officer at the Center for Informal Learning and Schools (CILS) at King's College, University of London. Her graduate training is in Science & Technology Studies and Women's Studies at Virginia Tech.

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James M Widmann California Polytechnic State University

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Dr. Jim Widmann is a professor of Mechanical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He received his Ph.D. in 1994 from Stanford University. Currently he teaches mechanics and design courses. He conducts research in the areas of machine design, fluid power control and engineering education. He is a past chair of the ASEE-DEED Division and a U.S. Fulbright Scholar.

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Lily Hsu Laiho California Polytechnic State University

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Fred W DePiero California Polytechnic State University

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Dr. Fred DePiero received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University in 1985 and 1987. He then worked as a Development Associate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory until 1993. While there he was involved in a variety of real-time image processing projects and several laser-based ranging systems. Fred began working on his Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee while still at ORNL, and completed it in May 1996. He then joined the faculty at CalPoly. Fred is presently the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs in the College of Engineering.

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Zoe Wood Wood

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Alana Christine Snelling

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Abstract

Comparative Assessment of Scaled Global Engineering Initiatives ABSTRACTAccreditation is an important aspect of contemporary engineering education. Analysis of currentpractice through multiple student outcome criteria creates a data driven blueprint for continuouscurriculum improvement and “provides assurance that a college or university program meets thequality standards established by the profession for which the program prepares its students.”Thus, examination of accreditation criteria and program review processes offers insight into whatis valued within contemporary engineering education practice and related initiatives.Interventions at the level of accreditation and program review can also have widespread impact.Since 1996, attention to “global competence” has proliferated– including definitions, assessmentcriteria, and proposed mechanisms. However, little agreement exists regarding how to assess theimpacts of global engineering education or, relatedly, on the necessary scale and type of globalengineering mechanisms to meet competency goals. Despite the open opportunity to includeglobal competencies within accreditation processes, our evaluation demonstrates very limitedadoption by programs. Analysis of recent PEOs from 48 programs in 36 institutions (235 PEOstotal) suggests an almost complete lack of attention to global competence: the PEOs analyzedinclude the words global, international or world less than 7% of the time. The word culture orcultural was not present. We suggest some program improvements that may encourage thedevelopment of efficient, effective, sufficient, and consistent global competency assessmentprotocols.In this paper, we undertake three projects. First, an analysis of the impacts of four differentscales of global engineering education initiatives occurring at our university using the assessmentmechanism recently proposed by Jesiek, Shen, and Haller (2012) to assess global engineeringeducational initiatives: the Miville-Guzman Universality-Diversity Scale. Initiatives include: 1)11 hours of global engineering curricula within a senior, interdisciplinary, year-long capstonecourse; 2) an elective course on global engineering (40 hours) combined with independentstudent research exploring how national differences shape what it means to be an engineer, doengineering work, and the structure of engineering education; 3) a 4-week international researchexpedition combined with initiative 2; and 4) an ongoing award-winning Engineers WithoutBorders Program. Control groups are drawn from first year and senior engineering majors.Second, we compare the assessment results from the Miville-Guzman Universality- DiversityScale to alternative evaluation mechanisms: action research and participant observation in thefour scaled contexts described above, and interviews of current students and engineers who haveworked or studied in international locations. The use of the Miville-Guzman Universality-Diversity Scale as assessment is efficient – is it also effective, sufficient, and consistent? Andfinally, based on this analysis, we provide examples of PEOs that include attention to globalcompetence. We also provide recommendations for minimum assessment mechanisms. 1 INTRODUCTIONIncreases in technology and mobility have substantially changed the interconnectedness ofcountries and businesses today. The trend of globalization has been increasing, changing the waythat business is being conducted and how education is being taught, the field of engineeringbeing no exception. While the fundamentals of engineering education stay relatively the same,how they are taught and what perspective they are given has shifted. In his book Clash ofCivilizations, Samuel Huntington writes, “It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source ofhuman conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. Thegreat divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be culture (Harris,Moran and Moran, 2004).” This idea of differences in culture leads to the term “globalcompetency” in engineering education or a focus on what some view as “soft skills”. Howengineering education is analyzed and accredited shows the main focus and value of educators ofthe time and can be used to identify strengths and/or weaknesses in engineering education.For more than a decade, attention to “global competence” has increased and includes definitions,assessment criteria, and proposed mechanisms. However, the impacts of global engineeringeducation are not uniformly addressed. Despite the realities which dictate the need to includeglobal competencies within accreditation processes, our evaluation demonstrates very limitedadoption by universities.The EC-2000 criteria that guide accreditation program review processes were approved byABET in 1996 (revised 2004). These criteria include both “hard” skills (e.g., “an ability to applyknowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering”) and “professional” or “soft” skills. Thelatter include criterion 3.h: “the broad education necessary to understand the impact ofengineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental and societal context.” While this isthe only time “global” is mentioned within the criteria, many additional criteria can be assessedthrough a global lens (e.g., 3.c, 3.j, and 3.k).How do we measure effectiveness in global engineering concepts? We would like to explore howthe MGUDS survey compares to interviewing as a means of assessing levels of proficiency inglobal engineering. The MGUDS Survey for four contexts is compared to other methods ofanalysis and observations for students and engineers working in global environment, includingtranscripts and classes. The analysis covers four different programs taking place on Cal Poly’scampus, the use and effectiveness of the Miville-Guzman Universality- Diversity Scale, andexamples of PEO’s that focus on global competency. The four scaled contexts are amultidisciplinary senior project, a junior level Global Engineering Class, ICEX and the Cal PolySection of Engineers without Borders. GLOBAL COMPETENCYThe rise of a global focus in engineering education has been a steady trend in recent years. Whilethere has been an increased focus, it is still not implemented at many institutions and inaccreditation. Purdue University has been a leader in the development of an internationallyfocused field of engineering, as well as Penn State and Worchester Polytechnic which offer 2engineering programs overseas designed to immerse engineers into a diverse and educationalengineering setting (Hoey, 2006). These programs are encouraging examples of how to increaseglobal competency in engineering education, yet there is still much to be done in thedevelopment of a standard for international engineers.Engineering is one of the most far reaching and widespread of professions, where the meaning of“engineer” differs depending on what country one is in, and the idea of “global competency”differs from one academic institution to another. In one sense, “the achievement of globalcompetency depends critically on developing the ability to work effectively with people whodefine problems differently than oneself, including both engineers and non-engineers” (Bigley etal., 2006). This definition places the importance on understanding how others understand aproblem and approach a problem. Due to our own possible ethnocentrism, we may view howothers understand or approach a problem as incorrect and view them as inept when this is not thecase.Ethnocentrism explains how culture plays a role in the “mutual devaluation in interculturalrelationship(s)” (Rusen, 2004). As defined by Oxford English Dictionary (2012), “Ethnocentrismis the technical name for this view of things in which one's own group is the center of everything,and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it.” Through education one can learn the roleof ethnocentrism in personal and professional life. It is through education that a sense ofethnocentrism can be overcome so as to work effectively in diverse work settings.While there are ideas of what global competency means, and there are proposed ways ofeducating engineers, assessment of the success of these ideas and methods is lacking. MGUDS isone method to quantify the competency of engineering. PROGRAMMING AND ASSESSMENTDespite 20 years of documentation about agreement on what global competency for engineers is,there is still little agreement about how it should be taught, and how we would measure itsimpact. Cost is also a challenge in programming and assessment. Additional questions related toqualitative vs. quantitative data need development.Despite progress in recognition of the need for engineers to be educated for global competence,international programs in engineering are not widely implemented or assessed. Rubrics whichexist for assessment of global competency are now being extended to incorporate ABET criteria.One method involves organizing global competency in terms of awareness, perspectives andparticipation [deturris].A worthwhile goal for undergraduate education could be that all students require an internationalexperience before graduation. Benefits include a direct exposure to another culture and theability to put your “home” in perspective. Challenges include having resources for students whocan’t finance a trip overseas on their own. 3 PROGRAM EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVESThe lack of agreement within the research literature is mirrored by a lack of attention to globalcompetency within PEOs/program assessment. ABET’s Criterion 2 requires programs to definethe persona of a successful graduate via Program Educational Objectives (PEOs). From theCriteria these are “broad statements that describe what graduates are expected to attain within afew years of graduation. Program educational objectives are based on the needs of the program’sconstituencies.” ABET also requires a justification that the PEOs are consistent with the missionof the program’s institution. As we see in the definition, ABET encourages self-reflection on thepart of the program to set the direction for its graduates and to seek the appropriate context whendefining these goals for alumni, by considering critical constituencies and campus attributes.Furthermore these goals must be published as a public declaration of the program’s intent fortheir alumni.Essentially programs have a blank slate when defining PEOs. This is markedly different than thetone set by ABET’s Criterion 3 which defines the abilities of students at the time of graduation.Criterion 3 establishes outcomes A-K (as mentioned previously). Although programs can definetheir own outcomes, ultimately coverage of A-K is still required. The blank slate of PEOs is anopportunity for programs to identify goals for their graduates that establishes a unique character.With the long-standing interest in global competencies, have programs seized on the opportunityto publically declare goals that reflect international considerations? Sadly we this is not the case.Analysis of recent PEOs from 48 programs in 36 institutions (235 PEOs total) suggests an almostcomplete lack of attention to global competence: the PEOs analyzed include the words global,international or world less than 7% of the time. The word culture or cultural was not present.Clearly, some universities are actively incorporating international experiences into a requirementin their curriculum.The vacancy of an international emphasis in PEOs is surprising. We suggest that programs maywish to consider their PEOs in light of any ‘global’ gap. Realizing that a gap exists might pavethe way for a program improvement (which are also mandated by ABET in their Criterion 4). Interms of a process to modify PEOs, ABET requires involvement of program constituenciesduring the review and potential update of PEOs. Constituents may be defined by a program, butoften include industrial advisory boards. We wonder how industry advisors might rank therelative importance of global competency.We paraphrase elements of PEOs mentioning global/international goals for their alumni:· globalized professional environment· contribute to the state, nation, or global community· respond to global changes· function in a global environment· remain globally competitive· global involvement and awareness· prepared for global issues· engagement locally and globally· aware of impact nationally and globally 4· success in international activities BACKGROUND ON MGUDSA recent publication by Jesiek et al suggests that the MGUDS can be used as a low-cost, low-investment but effective and efficient method to assess the impacts of education related to globalengineering. This study addresses the recurring theme for engineers to become globallycompetent in an ever changing world by first arguing that cross-cultural competence is a keyfacet of global competency for engineers. Since the mid 1990’s the inclusion of globalcompetency within accreditation guidelines for engineering degrees in response to moreacknowledgement for the importance of this tool as an engineer. This research paper argues thatcross-cultural competence is a key facet of global competency for engineers in the field today.To empirically study the importance of cross-cultural competency, researchers used the Mivillie-Guzman Universality-Diversity Scale (MGUDS) which measures a construct called Universal-Diverse Orientation (UDO).Global competency is an umbrella term often used to cover the full array of attributes requiredfor effective global practice. The study of global competency is broad, yet there are a fewreoccurring themes that the researchers focus on in this paper. Those include emphasis onattitudes like openness and respect toward other cultures, behavioral flexibility and adaptabilityin diverse cultural settings, and knowledge of cultural differences. MGUDS was used as aninstrument within this study to measure and study those themes previously listed.MGUDS is a 45-item instrument designed to measure an individual’s Universality DiverseOrientation (UDO) which is defined as “an attitude of awareness and acceptance of bothsimilarities and differences that exist among people.” (38) The short form of the MGUDS scale,composed of 15 short questions, has been distributed on the Cal Poly campus. The three goals ofthe MGUDS are to identify:1. diversity of contact with others (behavioral)2. relativistic appreciation of oneself and others (cognitive)3. degree of emotional comfort with differences (affective)This scale was a great choice for the population of individuals that were tested on the Cal Polycampus because it could be completed relatively quickly, is freely reusable in an unmodifiedform, and covers the three major dimensions of cross-cultural competence.Discussion:1. MGUDS scores from the baseline group were generally consistent with other studies ofundergraduate students at US universities.2. Their study reveals significant differences in MGUDS total scores between students in thebaseline group and those who opt into global programs. They believed that students enroll incertain types of global programs in part based on their levels of cross-cultural competence. Thesefindings implicate that students who have a lower level of cross-cultural competence are lesslikely to participate in highly immersive global programs. To take advantage of these untapped 5opportunities it is important to create global educational programs that target recruitment effortsat populations with lower levels of cross-cultural competence.3. There was a significant increase in mean MGUDS total scores for the students who had beeninvolved in the study abroad program with China.4. Important factors within the study of MGUDS were gender and prior international experience.Overall these findings show that women most likely will have a significant gain in interculturaldevelopment when compared to men. Ultimately the research showed that the “biggest gains inMGUDS scores occurred among women without prior experience living abroad, and men withsuch experience.”This research has shown that the MGUDS scale is potentially a great way to study inter-culturalcompetency in the context of global engineering programs on college campuses. Not only is theMGUDS easy to administer to large populations of people, but it also carries the ability to detectdiffering levels of UDO among students within global engineering programs. Utilization of theMGUDS will allow universities and organizations everywhere to develop global programs thatincrease participation amongst those “resistant” populations and maximize the impact that globalengineering education may have on an individual. MGUDS APPLIED TO FOUR STUDENT GROUPSMGUDS was employed in multiple contexts to explore its usefulness as an assessmentmechanism. Assessing in multiple courses/classes allows students in various majors at Cal Polyto record their level of cultural competency. The first context to apply MGUDS to was amultidisciplinary senior project class for engineering majors. The class has 45 students who wereworking in groups of 4 to 6 people on a sponsored research project. The next context was ajunior level global engineering class taught by the Ethnic Studies department. The third groupwas ICEX and the fourth group was students in Engineers without Borders.The students in general answered with the most open minded option that was available, althoughthe answers ranged from agree a little bit to agree a lot. Over 80% of the students were somewhator very much at ease with people who were not of the same race. The students demonstrated ahigh degree of awareness that culture is valued and that they valued learning about it in varioussettings. Their responses indicated a welcoming and valuing attitude toward people of differentcultural backgrounds. The only question where students were somewhat divided was aboutwhether they would like to attend a dance with music from another country.The second purpose of this paper is to reflect on whether the MGUDS is not only efficient butaccurate and sufficient in capturing the impacts of global engineering education. We are doingthis by comparing the results of the MGUDS via comparison to action research / participantobservation. The MGUDS does a very good job of assessing willingness to explore diversity ofcontact with others, relativistic appreciation of oneself and others, and the degree of emotionalcomfort with differences. It does not account for knowledge and skills in working effectivelywith people from varying backgrounds. 6 ASSESSMENT OF GLOBAL COMPETENCYPrograms wishing to more fully encourage international careers for their graduates should set thetone by reflecting this goal in their Program Educational Objectives. And, as guided by ABETrequirements, programs should also ensure they are preparing students to successfully achievethe PEOs after graduation. We recommend the MGUDS survey as a means to evaluate theeffectiveness of curricular/co-curricular experiences to gauge awareness and attitudes necessaryfor global competence. The survey is short and easy to administer, and asks a wide range ofquestions.REFERENCESAdams, R.S., Atman, C.J., Nakamura, R., Kalonji, G., and Denton, D. (2002). “Assessment of anInternational Freshmen Research and Design Experience: A Triangulation Study”, International Journalof Engineering Education, 18(2): 180 – 192. ABET Accreditation (copyright 2011),http://www.abet.org/accreditation/ – accessed on 1 Feb 2013.Dare, A.E. (2012). “Assessment of global engineering competencies”, ProQuest, UMI DissertationPublishing.Del Vitto, C. (2008). Cross-Cultural “Soft Skills” and the Global Engineer. Corporate Best Practices andTrainer Methodologies. Online Journal for Global Engineering Education. 3(1): 1-9.DeTurris, D. (2012). Assessment Rubric for Global Competency in Engineering Education. Proceedingsof the American Society for Engineering Education Pacific Southwest Section, San Luis Obispo, CA.Downey, G.L., Lucena, J.C., Moskal, B., Bigley, T., Hays, C., Jesiek, B.K., Kelly, L., Lehr, J.L., Miller,J., Nichols-Belo, A., Ruff, S., and Parkhurst, R. (2006). “The Globally Competent Engineer: WorkingEffectively with People Who Define Problems Differently.” Journal of Engineering Education 95: 107-122.Duderstadt, James J. (2009). “Engineering for a Changing World, A Roadmap to the Future of AmericanEngineering Practice, Research, and Education”, Engineering Education for the 21st Century: A HolisticApproach to Meet Complex Challenges, edited by Domenico GrassoFuertes, J. N., Miville, M. L., Mohr, J. J., Sedlacek, W. E., & Gretchen, D. (2000). Factor structure andshort form of the Miville-Guzman Universality-Diversity Scale. Measurement and Evaluation inCounseling and Development, 33: 157–169.Grudzinski-Hall, Magdalena; Jellison, Kristen L.; Stewart-Gambino, Hannah W.; and Weisman, RichardN. (2007) "Engineering Students in a Global World: Lehigh University's Global Citizenship Program,"Online Journal for Global Engineering Education, 2(1): Article 1.Jesiek, Brent K., Yi Shen, and Yating Haller. (2012). "Cross-Cultural Competence: A ComparativeAssessment of Engineering Students." International Journal of Engineering Education, 28(1): 144-155. 7Hirleman, E.D., Groll, E.A., and Atkinson, D.L. (2007). “The Three Axes of Engineering Education”,Proceedings of International Conference on Engineering Education, 8 pages, ICEE, Coimbra, Portugal,2007. Available at https://globalhub.org/resources/73.Lohmann, J.R., Rollins, H.A., & Hoey, J.J. (2006). Defining, developing, and assessing globalcompetence in engineers. European Journal of Engineering Education. 31(1): 119-131.Mickelson, S.K.; Hanneman, L.F.; Guardiola, R.; and Brumm, T.J., “Development of WorkplaceCompetencies Sufficient to Measure ABET Outcomes" (2001). Agricultural and Biosystems EngineeringConference Papers, Posters and Presentations. Paper 12. http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/abe_eng_conf/12Miville, M. L., Gelso, C. J., Pannu, R., Liu, W., Touradji, P., Holloway, P., et al. (1999). Appreciatingsimilarities and valuing differences: The Miville-Guzman Universality-Diversity Scale. Journal ofCounseling Psychology, 46: 291–307.Parkinson, Alan (2009) "The Rationale for Developing Global Competence," Online Journal for GlobalEngineering Education: 4(2): Article 2. Available at: http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/ojgee/vol4/iss2/2Passow, H. (2007). What Competencies Should Engineering Programs Emphasize? A Meta-Analysis ofPractitioners’ Opinions Informs Curricular Design. Proceedings of the 3rd International CDIOConference, MIT, Camb ridge, Massachusetts, USA, June 11-14, 2007Sánchez-Goñi, E. (2009). ABET Accreditation Criteria, Outcome H, and Global Competencies inEngineering Education. Unpublished manuscript/dissertation. West Virginia University.Shuman, L.J., M. Besterfield-Sacre, and J. McGourty, "The ABET 'Professional Skills'--Can they beTaught? Can they be Assessed?", Journal of Engineering Education, 94(1), 2005, pp. 41-55. Vaz, R.(2012). Designing the Liberally Educated Engineer. AAC&U Peer Review: 8-12.Warnick, Gregg M., "Global Competence: Determination of its Importance for Engineers Working in aGlobal Environment" (2010). Educational Administration: Theses, Dissertations, and Student Research.Paper 35. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cehsedaddiss/35Harris, Moran and Moran, 2004Hoey, 2006 8

DeTurris, D. J., & Lehr, J. L., & Widmann, J. M., & Laiho, L. H., & DePiero, F. W., & Wood, Z., & Snelling, A. C. (2014, June), Comparative Assessment of Scaled Global Engineering Initiatives Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/17171

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