June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
ASEE Global Programs
22.950.1 - 22.950.14
International Research and Education in Engineering (IREE) 2010 China: Developing Globally Competent Engineering ResearchersThe International Research and Education in Engineering (IREE) program supports thedevelopment of globally competent engineering researchers, while also encouraging cross-national research collaborations. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) andadministered by Purdue University, the IREE 2010 China program sent 58 U.S. undergraduateand graduate engineering students to China for intensive 10-week research experiences inuniversity and industry laboratories. The program also featured extensive pre-departure andonsite orientation activities, a new Engineering Cultures China curriculum, a two-day re-entrymeeting, and extensive use of the GlobalHUB cybercommunity. This paper presents an in-depthdescription of the IREE program, along with select results from our comprehensive programevaluation. Our findings are based on a series of surveys conducted during various phases of theprogram, coupled with observations of the program team. By presenting this case study of theIREE program, from the initial idea to end results, audience members will learn about the uniqueopportunities and challenges faced when executing overseas program for engineering students.The results of the program evaluation are presented in five major parts. First, the applicant andparticipant demographics are discussed, including academic level, technical disciplines, gender,ethnicity, language skills, and prior international experience. Second, the relative merits anddrawbacks are presented for two different approaches used to assign research placements forstudents in China. These approaches were self-placement, where students made their ownarrangements to work in research labs in China, and site-placement, where the program teamplaced students (individuals or small groups) in laboratories at various partner institutions. Third,the effectiveness of three different orientation formats is discussed, specifically a two-week face-to-face orientation held in the U.S. prior to departure, a two-week face-to-face orientation heldupon arrival in China, and a flexible five-week “virtual” orientation held entirely online. Fourth,IREE student ratings of host locations, placements, and supervisors is summarized, along withdata from a counterpart survey that asked hosts to report their satisfaction with IREE students.Finally, evaluation data from a re-entry meeting, which was held approximately one month afterthe IREE participants returned to the United States, is presented.Together, the results will help the program administrators and NSF determine the most cost-effective pathways (site placement vs. self placement; face to face orientation vs. virtualorientation, pre-departure orientation vs. onsite orientation) to prepare students undertakingglobal experiences. The paper concludes with a series of best practice recommendations andlessons learned, many of which are highly relevant for other faculty and staff involved withlaunching and running their own global engineering programs.
Jesiek, B. K., & Chang, Y., & Shen, Y., & Lin, J. J., & Hirleman, D., & Groll, E. A. (2011, June), International Research and Education in Engineering (IREE) 2010 China: Developing Globally Competent Engineering Researchers Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18149
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