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Engineering Design: Using A Scoring Rubric To Compare The Products Of Teams That Differ In Gender Composition

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Design and Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.479.1 - 7.479.12



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Paper Authors

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Robert Knecht

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Lasich Debra

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Barbara Moskal

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

Main Menu Session 2630

Engineering Design: Using a Scoring Rubric to Compare the Products Of Teams that Differ in Gender Composition

Barbara M. Moskal, Robert Knecht, Debra Lasich Colorado School of Mines

Abstract - This study uses an analytic scoring rubric to evaluate the quality of the final reports that are produced by students in engineering design teams. The student teams consisted of four to six members and varied in their gender composition. Based on the results of this study, gender composition appears to have had an impact on the quality of the team submitted final reports. This paper will discuss the specific facets of the reports that varied by gender composition.

I. Introduction

The importance of retaining and advancing women in engineering has been supported by several arguments. The first argument relies upon the concepts of fairness and equity. By not participating in engineering, women are barred from the economic rewards of this field 1-3. More recent arguments recognize that not only is female participation advantageous to the individual but also to the advancement of a given field. Women make contributions to fields that are unique from that of the majority population 3-8. Engineering design is an essential activity within the field of engineering. In order to retain more women within this field, a better understanding is needed of the female experience during the engineering design team process.

Recognizing this need, the National Science Foundation's Activities for Women and Girls in Science, Engineering & Mathematics program has sponsored the Engineering Design Teams: Influence of Gender Composition on the Decision-Making Process project (EHR-9979444) at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). This project seeks to better understand the interactions that take place between men and women during the team decision making process in the Design Engineering Practices Introductory Course Sequence (EPICS). Design EPICS is a sequence of required first and second year courses at CSM in engineering design. As the first courses that students take in engineering design, EPICS has the potential of either encouraging or discouraging students' (particularly females) interests in engineering.

An earlier report concerning this project found that male and female leaders in engineering design teams displayed few behavioral differences during the team process 9. Yet, team members' descriptions of the leadership qualities of their male and female leaders were very different. The female leader was described as "being the only female" and therefore, was permitted by the males to take the leadership role. The male leader, on the other hand, was described as having long-range goals, organizational skills, computer skills, an ability to get things done, and an ability to take charge. In other words, engineering design team members

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Knecht, R., & Debra, L., & Moskal, B. (2002, June), Engineering Design: Using A Scoring Rubric To Compare The Products Of Teams That Differ In Gender Composition Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10945

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