Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
The different experiences and outcomes of male and female students in engineering have long been a focus of engineering education research. For example, a recent phenomenographic study identified eight distinct ways that engineering students experienced innovation that increased in comprehensiveness (i.e., sophistication, complexity) across dimensions of innovation processes and innovation focus areas and found that female students were more likely to align with the most comprehensive ways of experiencing innovation. This paper sought to more thoroughly understand this finding through abductive analysis, a novel analytical framework that supports sense-making and theory generation based on unexpected findings. Abductive analysis follows an iterative cycle of generating hypotheses that could explain unexpected findings and exploring these hypotheses within the data, which will often result in new unexpected findings and refinement of hypotheses. The latest iteration adapted a professional identity development model and used critical incident technique to (1) understand how engineering developed more comprehensive ways of experiencing innovation and (2) how female and male students differed with respect to this development. Data included semi-structured interviews with 16 undergraduate engineering students (9 male, 7 female) from 9 different majors and with experience on 30+ unique innovation projects, and 122 critical incidents extracted from students' reports of their innovation experiences. Results indicate potential differences in the ways female and male participants engaged with professional activities, social networks, and sense-making around these experiences. This paper discusses these findings and discusses planned and potential follow-up investigations.
Fila, N. D., & Friedensen, R. E., & Mina, M., & Ahn, B. (2018, June), Making Sense of Gender Differences in the Ways Engineering Students Experience Innovation: An Abductive Analysis Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30784
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