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Gender Perspectives On The Optimization Of The Interdisciplinary Course Curriculum “Introduction To Electrical Engineering For Non Majors”

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

ECE Poster Session

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

11.664.1 - 11.664.14

DOI

10.18260/1-2--1298

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1298

Download Count

142

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Paper Authors

biography

Kedmon Hungwe Michigan Technological University

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is with the Department of Education, Michigan Technological University. He received his Ph.D from Michigan State University in 1999. His research interests focus on teaching and learning in school, college and workplace contexts.

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biography

Seyed Zekavat Michigan Technological University

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is with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University. He received his Ph.D from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado in 2002, in Telecommunications. He has over 10 years of teaching and research experience both in the United States and abroad. He has published more than 50 journal and conference papers, and has co-authored two books and invited chapters published by Kluwer Academic Publishers and Springer.

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Glen Archer Michigan Technological University

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is with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University. He received his Masters degree from Texas Tech University in 1986. He has been the instructor of an EE service course and its associated laboratories since Fall 2001, and has 12 years of teaching experience.

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

Gender Perspectives on the Optimization of the Interdisciplinary Course Curriculum “Introduction to Electrical Engineering for Non-Majors”

Abstract

This paper is the outcome of a project that evaluates and improves the curriculum and teaching approach to the interdisciplinary course “Introduction to Electrical Engineering (EE) for non-EE majors” that is taught as a service course at Michigan Technological University, and has equivalents in almost all engineering schools nationally. In order to specify the general and special needs of all non-EE majors and form a curriculum, a comprehensive survey was designed and distributed to universities and industry.

This paper analyses the survey in detail to compare the perspectives of female and male respondents. Specifically, we analyze the impact of prior experience such as research and co- op/internship on how women rate the importance of different curriculum topics. The results show that there are statistically significant differences on 22% of the curriculum topics surveyed. These differences are more critical for females than men. The results will help the development of curriculum content and instructional strategies that are responsive to gender differences. The topic is of crucial importance because of the national concern about the recruitment, retention, and performance of women in the engineering fields.

1. Introduction

The paper is the outcome of a project that evaluates and improves the curriculum and teaching approach to the interdisciplinary course “Introduction to Electrical Engineering (EE) for non-EE majors” that is taught as a service course at Michigan Technological University, and which has equivalents in almost all engineering schools nationally. In order to specify the general and special needs of all non-EE majors and form a curriculum, a comprehensive survey was designed and distributed to universities and industry. The survey outcomes were analyzed to extract and create a proposal for an optimized curriculum. 1 The optimization was performed by addressing the general needs of all majors and the special needs of the diverse engineering fields served by the course. An analysis of the data revealed significant differences in the ways male and female respondents rated the importance of several curriculum areas that were surveyed.

The paper presents an analysis of the differences in the perspectives of male and female respondents, as well as the background factors that are associated with the responses. The topic is of crucial importance because of the national concern about the recruitment, retention, and performance of women in the engineering fields.2,3 Women earn a disproportionately lower share of the awarded engineering degrees and also have lower retention rates than males.4 A gender perspective is essential because of the nationally recognized need to increase the proportion of women in engineering.5 The percentage distribution of engineering degrees conferred to females in 1996-97 was 1.9 percent of all majors. For males the proportion was 12 percent.6 The paper discusses how these findings have informed the development of new curriculum content, and the

Hungwe, K., & Zekavat, S., & Archer, G. (2006, June), Gender Perspectives On The Optimization Of The Interdisciplinary Course Curriculum “Introduction To Electrical Engineering For Non Majors” Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1298

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