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Does Gender Affect Student Perception Of Engineering Courses In A Common First Year Program?

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Early College Retention Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.487.1 - 10.487.12



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Paper Authors

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Brett Hamlin

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Gretchen Hein

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2192

Does Gender Affect Student Perception of Engineering Courses in a Common First Year Program?

Gretchen L. Hein, Brett H. Hamlin

Department of Engineering Fundamentals Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI


In the fall of 2000, Michigan Technological University started a common first year program for all engineering students. In conjunction with the student course evaluations, the students answered ten additional questions. These questions were used to evaluate their perception of the first year engineering courses. The responses were used to assess the students’: • comfort in using the material and software taught in the courses, • experiences in working on a multi-disciplinary team • perceptions of the semester design project • self-assessments of their technical communication skills • reporting of the time spent on this course and if they thought they spent too much time on the course The students were asked to report their gender. When the data were analyzed, there were significant differences between the male and female students. For instance, the women tended to spend more time on homework and report that this amount of work was not excessive. The men reported the opposite. The women tended to rank their ability to use the tools taught in the class lower than their male counterparts. This statistic was contradicted with student performance. Typically, the female students out perform or perform at the same level as the men.

This paper discusses the surveys that have been completed over a three year period. It investigates how the data changed over time and how gender may have affected student response.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Educations Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Hamlin, B., & Hein, G. (2005, June), Does Gender Affect Student Perception Of Engineering Courses In A Common First Year Program? Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15271

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