Asee peer logo

Cross-Validation of a Global Citizenship Scale: Constructs for Evaluating Undergraduate Engineering Perspectives

Download Paper |


2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Research Methods I: Developing Research Tools and Methods

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Rachel Roberts University of Washington School of Environmental and Forest Sciences

visit author page

Rachel completed her Bachelor’s degrees at the University of Wyoming in International Studies and Spanish, spending a semester in Guatemala interviewing business owners and local residents in Antigua as part of a project to understand conflicts over the growing ecotourism industry. She also completed a Masters with the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington, collaborating on projects focusing on engaging stakeholders in forest management issues, surveys on public values of cultural ecosystem services, and psychographic market segmentation of sustainable tourism.

visit author page


Denise Wilson University of Washington

visit author page

Denise Wilson is a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her research interests in engineering education focus on the role of self-efficacy, belonging, and other non-cognitive aspects of the student experience on engagement, success, and persistence and on effective methods for teaching global issues such as those pertaining to sustainability.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Cross-Validation of a Global Citizenship Scale: Constructs for Evaluating Undergraduate Engineering Perspectives

In this effort, an assessment tool designed for researchers to assess global citizenship values among undergraduate students is cross-validated. Past research shows that engineering students can be resistant to the introduction and addition of global citizenship components into the classroom including social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and economic equality. While some studies have delved qualitatively into how engineering undergraduates approach, accept, and understand global values including sustainability, this study seeks to evaluate a quantitative assessment tool and its ability to measure global citizenship values in a consistent manner for a wide variety of populations. With a validated assessment tool for global citizenship, undergraduate engineering students can be evaluated on their knowledge of critical global problems, but also their sense of responsibility for and willingness to engage in solutions to these problems.

To cross-validate this scale, 438 students from four different colleges and schools within one large research university in the Pacific Northwest were surveyed using scale items designed to evaluate global citizenship. Participants represented majors in Engineering, Education, Business, and Environment; these fields were selected in order to validate the scale among a diverse pool of students which differed significantly from the original pool of students used to develop these global citizenship constructs. Factor analyses on this dataset produced 9 distinct measures of such values. Of 62 initial items (42 drawn from the original scale and 20 newly written items for this tool development effort), 39 items remained after factor analysis while 23 items were discarded through rigorous assessment. Newly written items that referenced engineering-oriented global citizenship values and used similar language to the original scale were added in order to validate this scale’s appropriateness for use among engineering undergraduate students. Adding to previous research that used these survey items to study a more narrow population of students, this study provides measures of perspective, values, and beliefs regarding sustainability that are likely to be reliable across diverse populations of undergraduates and be particularly relevant to engineering students.

Roberts, R., & Wilson, D. (2016, June), Cross-Validation of a Global Citizenship Scale: Constructs for Evaluating Undergraduate Engineering Perspectives Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26201

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015