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Leader Development Model (LDM) Through Self- and Peer-assessment Across the Curriculum

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Program Support Initiatives

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Alyson Grace Eggleston The Citadel

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Alyson G. Eggleston is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Fine Arts, and Communications at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, where she teaches STEM-focused technical writing and communication, writing-intensive courses for international students, and linguistics. She received her PhD from Purdue University in Linguistics, and she has a BA and MA in English with concentrations in TESOL and writing pedagogy from Youngstown State University. Her research and teaching interests are in technical and scientific writing pedagogy and the interaction of language and cognition. She is a member of Sigma Xi and ASEE.

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Robert J. Rabb P.E. The Citadel

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Robert Rabb is a professor and the Mechanical Engineering Department Chair at The Citadel. He previously taught mechanical engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Military Academy and his M.S.E. and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. His research and teaching interests are in mechatronics, regenerative power, and multidisciplinary engineering.

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Leadership development and assessment impact the engineering program curriculum at the [Institution], resulting in embedded indicators and teamed learning activities mapped across all four years of the undergraduate curriculum. The institution-specific leadership model developed at the [Institution] prepares students for leadership through teamed challenges and projects, positioning the engineering program to provide robust learning experiences for students.

Reinforced in multiple senior-level capstone design courses and a sophomore-level, engineering-specific communications course, students were asked to assess leadership performance during team-based projects. Both sophomore-level communications courses and senior-level design courses used this framework, and students provided Likert-scale survey responses. Student responses include both peer and self-assessments, and they were trained in the use of this instrument in other leader development instruction. All students must learn, experience, and internalize the leadership model over four years. The leadership program further describes individual leadership characteristics, and all students are assessed on their leader development against these characteristics. This instrument reinforces the mission of the [Institution], embedding a character development instrument traditionally emphasized in required leadership studies courses. Further, regular surveying with this instrument resulted in improved teamwork, interaction, and performance for some students. Iterative survey results over four semesters include normalized individual scores, which have been shown to be an effective way to differentiate varying levels of contributed effort among team members.

This research presents an application of this leadership development framework, assessed within senior-level engineering capstone design courses and a sophomore-level communications course. While the leadership framework is specific to the [Institution], results indicate that iterative surveying works as a priming mechanism, reinforcing good leadership practices in teams. Additionally, the normalization of scores, as presented here, is an effective way to quantify individual-level effort, and the practice is supported in the literature on STEM-focused approaches to assessment. Findings are intended to be of interest to other undergraduate engineering programs working to enhance teamwork and leadership experiences through assessment-based methods. This paper also offers a comparison to the leadership models in the military and other selected undergraduate institutions with a leadership component in the curriculum.

Eggleston, A. G., & Rabb, R. J. (2021, July), Leader Development Model (LDM) Through Self- and Peer-assessment Across the Curriculum Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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