June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
20.34.1 - 20.34.11
Reaching Beyond Engineering to Achieve Best Practice in Global Learning Since 2004, undergraduate chemical engineering students from WorcesterPolytechnic Institute (WPI) have conducted research in the labs at l’Ecole NationaleSupérieure des Industries Chimiques in Nancy, France. Projects include biomedical researchand local environmental problems. Students returning from this program frequently win localacademic competitions and become co-authors on papers published in research journals. In 2008 ChE students began conducting research at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.They helped contribute to SJTU’s long standing commitment to solving complexenvironmental issues in China’s most prosperous and eclectic city. While working fulltimewith SJTU faculty these students gained the well-known benefits of undergraduate researchwhile at the same time learning about Chinese culture, struggling with the language, andnegotiating life in suburban Shanghai. These two global opportunities represent a variety of experiences, contexts, andoutcomes for our students. They are not isolated anecdotes from a select few chemicalengineers, fortunate enough to travel abroad; rather they are the norm for several hundredWPI students who participate each year in the Global Perspective Program (GPP). And,despite the diversity they have elements in common – they provide authentic learningexperiences for undergraduate students to do meaningful research. And, they provide uniqueopportunities to develop important non-technical abilities. Although the GPP has been part ofWPI’s curriculum for over 35 years, it is only in the last 12 years that the global programexpanded to become one of the largest in engineering education. In 2001, the non-profit professional association The Forum on Education Abroad wasfounded to solely address academic issues when US students study abroad. The Forum isrecognized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as theStandards Development Organization for the field of education abroad. As such they havepublished Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad currently in its 4th edition. Thesestandards are endorsed by over 600 universities representing 90% of the 283,000 US studentswho studied abroad in 2011/12. There are nine Standards recognized by the field: Mission;Student Learning and Development; Academic Framework; Student Preparation for the LearningEnvironment Abroad; Student Selection and Code of Conduct; Policies and Procedures;Organizational and Program Resources; Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management; andEthics and Integrity. We will describe the WPI model in detail, including details of our collaborations at SJTUand ENSIC. We will outline assessment efforts to measure student learning outcomes, andpresent the data from those efforts. This paper will use the Standards of Good Practice with afocus on Standard 2: Student Learning and Development and WPI’s established model todemonstrate that best practice in both engineering education and education abroad can beachieved while providing students with meaningful learning experiences around the globe. Ourextensive assessment data demonstrates how properly designed authentic internationaleducational structures can achieve technical, social, and cross-cultural learning outcomes that aresuperior to similar domestic learning experiences.
DiBiasio, D., & Camesano, T. A., & Mello, N. A. (2014, June), Reaching Beyond Engineering to Achieve Best Practice in Global Learning Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/17197
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