Active/Collaborative Learning Student Teams Integrating Technology Effectively Women and Minorities Assessment and Evaluation EC2000 Emerging Technology Foundation Coalition Curricula Concept Inventories
Outcome h the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context

Introduction and Invitation

Constructing resources for assessment and instruction related to the eleven student outcomes contained in Criterion 3 of the ABET Engineering Criteria requires contributions across the entire engineering community. If you have one or more resources (for example, helpful papers, survey forms, assessment materials, instructional materials) for assessment and/or instructional related to outcome h click here. Please indicate whether and how you would like your contribution to be acknowledged. Thanks for contributing the growing understanding of how we might help engineering students develop knowledge and skills that they will draw upon throughout their careers.

Learning Objectives

The first step in selecting assessment and instructional approaches for a learning outcome is to formulate learning objectives that support the outcome. Learning objectives describe expectations associated with the outcome in terms of expected and observable performances. Several researchers have already constructed learning objectives and these may provide worthwhile starting points for others.

A team of researchers (Larry Shuman, Mary E. Besterfield-Sacre, Harvey Wolfe, Cynthia J. Atman, Jack McGourty, Ronald L. Miller, Barbara M. Olds, and Gloria M. Rogers) working a NSF-supported project, Engineering Education: Assessment Methodologies and Curricula Innovation, used Bloom's Taxonomy to develop and organize a set of learning objectives for outcome 3h (the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context) [1]. They have devised learning objectives for each of the six levels of Bloom's taxonomy for two outcome elements:

  • Understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global context (where global is taken to mean to cross cultures and societies, example areas of impact include, but not limited to, environmental, political, and economic)
  • Understand the impact of engineering solutions in a societal context (where societal is taken to mean issues associated with the groups of people and their beliefs, practices and needs)

Juan Lucena offers the following learning objectives for a course Engineering Cultures that Gary Downey (Virginia Tech) and he co-developed. the course is being taught at both Virginia Tech (where it was first offered) and Colorado School of Mines.

  1. Understand and compare different models of culture and begin using a new model based on the concept of "dominant images" of what is an engineer? What counts as engineering knowledge? and Where are engineers expected to work?
  2. Describe and discuss engineering and its practitioners in the following cultural and historical contexts: 20th century United States, Japan, early 20th century Russia, Soviet Union, France, Britain, Germany, India, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia.
  3. Define, discuss, and critically assess concepts related to engineering and culture, such as: economic competitiveness, corporate culture, dominant images, and technological tradition.
  4. Describe and provide examples of ways in which engineering, its artifacts and practices, can affect culture and how culture influences technological choices and practices.
  5. Understand and analyze elements of organizational culture such as categories of work, power, membership, ideology, rituals, emotional and cognitive role embracement and distancing.
  6. Understand how you can serve as a consultant to companies, governments, and peer engineers on facilitating cultural differences among engineers from different countries.
  7. Understand the contributions of studying the history of technology to your knowledge, social status, and the kind of work you might be doing after graduation.

Assessment Resources

In a report from the National Research Council, Knowing What Students Know: The Science and Design of Educational Assessment [2], assessment, once expectations have been constructed, rests on three pillars: cognition, observation, and interpretation.

Theory of Cognition

Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity

One area of learner development associated with understanding the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context is intercultural competence. The developmental model of intercultural sensivity (DMIS) is a framework that offers dimensions of intercultural competence in a developmental model of intercultural sensitivity (DMIS) [3,4]. "The DMIS constitutes a progression of worldview orientations toward cultural difference that comprise the potential for increasingly more sophisticatedintercultural experiences. Three ethnocentric orientations, where ones culture is experienced as central to reality (Denial, Defense, Minimization), and three ethnorelative orientations, where ones culture is experienced in the context of other cultures (Acceptance, Adaptation, Integration), are identified in the DMIS" [5].

Under construction (20 April 2005)

Theory of Observation

Under construction (20 April 2005)

Theory of Interpretation

Under construction (20 April 2005)

Potential Resources

Intercultural Development Inventory

The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) was developed to measure the dimensions described in the DMIS. Development and testing of the IDI is described in [5,6]. The IDI is planned to be used as one of the outcome assessment instruments in the National Study of Liberal Arts Education.

Multicultural Experience Questionnaire

The Multicultural Experience Questionnaire (MEXQ) is an instrument, which is under development, intended to measure "multicultural experiences and openness to diverse groups" [7]. About 70 students have taken the MEXQ, the Definition Issues Test, and the IDI and s from the three instruments have been compared [7,8].

Under construction (20 April 2005)

Instructional Resources

Under construction (20 April 2005)


References for Further Information

  1. Learning Outcomes/Attributes for Outcome h - The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context, accessed 29 November 2004
  2. National Research Council. (2001). Knowing What Students Know: The Science and Design of Educational Assessment. Committee on the Foundations of Assessment, James W. Pellegrino, Naomi Chudowsky, and Robert Glaser, editors, Board on Testing and Assessment, Center for Education, National Research Council.
  3. Bennett, J. M. (1993). Cultural marginality: Identity issues in intercultural training. In R. M. Paige (Ed.), Education for the intercultural experience, Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press, 109-136
  4. Bennett, M. J. (1986). Towards ethnorelativism: A developmental model of intercultural sensitivity. In R. M. Paige (Ed.), Cross-cultural orientation: New conceptualizations and applications, New York: University Press of America, 27-70
  5. Hammer, M. R., Bennett, M. J., and Wiseman, R. (2004) Measuring intercultural sensitivity: The intercultural development inventory. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 27(4), 421-443.

    Abstract: Today, the importance of intercultural competence in both global and domestic contexts is well recognized. Bennett (1986, 1993b) posited a framework for conceptualizing dimensions of intercultural competence in his developmental model of intercultural sensitivity (DMIS). The DMIS constitutes a progression of worldview orientations toward cultural difference that comprise the potential for increasingly more sophisticatedintercultural experiences. Three ethnocentric orientations, where ones culture is experienced as central to reality (Denial, Defense, Minimization), andthree ethnorelative orientations, where ones culture is experienced in the context of other cultures (Acceptance, Adaptation, Integration), are identified in the DMIS.

    Based on this theoretical framework, the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) was constructed to measure the orientations toward cultural differences described in the DMIS. The result of this work is a 50-item (with 10 additional demographic items), paper-and-pencil measure of intercultural competence.

    Confirmatory factor analyses, reliability analyses, and construct validity tests validated five main dimensions of the DMIS, which were measured with the following scales: (1) DD (Denial/Defense) scale (13 items, alpha=0.85); (2) R (Reversal) scale (9 items, alpha=0.80); (3) M (Minimization) scale (9 items, alpha=0.83), (4) AA (Acceptance/Adaptation) scale (14 items, alpha=0.84; and(5) an EM (Encapsulated Marginality) scale (5 items, alpha=0.80). While no systematic gender differences were found, significant differences by gender were found on one of the five scales (DD scale). No significant differences on the scale scores were found for age, education, or social desirability, suggesting the measured concepts are fairly stable.

  6. Paige, R. M., Jacobs-Cassuto, M., Yershova, Y., & DeJaeghere, J. (1999). Assessing intercultural sensitivity: A validation study of the Hammer and Bennett (1998) Intercultural Development Inventory. Paper presented at the International Academy of Intercultural Research conference, Kent State University, Kent, OH.
  7. Endicott, L., Bock, T., and Narvaez, D. (2002). Learning Processes at the Intersection of Ethical and Intercultural Education. A paper presented at AREA.
  8. Endicott, L., Bock, T., and Narvaez, D. (2003). Moral reasoning, intercultural development, and multicultural experiences: relations and cognitive underpinnings. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 27(4), 403-419.

    Abstract: The relation between moral reasoning and intercultural sensitivity is discussed. We hypothesize that multicultural experiences are related to both types of development, describe the cognitive processes through which multicultural experiences theoretically facilitate development, and present empirical data supporting the association. Though the underlying developmental constructs were initially conceptualized as stage theories, we borrow from cognitive science and contemporary theories of human learning (Derry, 1996) to think of moral and intercultural development in terms of increasing sociocognitive flexibility. Intercultural and moral development share the common element of a critical shift from rigid to flexible thinking. In moral reasoning, this is characterized by the shift from conventional to post-conventional thinking. In intercultural development, a similar movement occurs between the ethnocentric and ethnorelative orientations of intercultural sensitivity. In order to test our hypothesis, college students (n ¼ 70) took measures of intercultural development (Intercultural Development Inventory), moral judgment (Defining Issues Test), and multicultural experience (Multicultural Experience Questionnaire). The results indicate that moral judgment and intercultural development are significantly related to one another. Both are related to multicultural experiences, particularly depth of the experiences, as opposed to breadth.


National Academy of Engineering Report: The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century

To maintain the nation's economic competitiveness and improve the quality of life for people around the world, engineering educators and curriculum developers must anticipate dramatic changes in engineering practice and adapt their programs accordingly. This report from the National Academy of Engineering, written by group of educators and practicing engineers from diverse backgrounds, includes various scenarios for the future based on current scientific and technological trends. In addition to identifying the ideal attributes of the engineer of 2020, the report recommends ways to improve the training of engineers to prepare them for addressing complex technical, social, and ethical questions raised by emerging technologies.

Resources for Teaching and Researching the History of Science

The History of Science Society has prepared a set of resources for that may be useful for students working on learning or researching the history of science and technology. Resources include an online database (accessible only by members), teaching and in-class activities, bibliographic essays and guides, and archived newsletter articles.

Engineering Cultures, Gary Downey, Virginia Tech

The main goal of this course is to help engineers learn to work with people who define problems differently than they do. The course travels around the world, examining how what counts as an engineer and engineering knowledge has varied over time and from place to place. Students gradually become 'global engineers' by coming to recognize and value that they live and work in a world of diverse perspectives. Minimally, participants gain concrete strategies for understanding the cultural differences they will encounter on the job and for engaging in shared problem solving in the midst of those differences. When the course works best, it can help students figure out how and where to locate engineering problem solving in their lives while still holding onto their dreams. The title of the course is a pun: it both compares the cultures of engineers at different times and places and explores how engineers participate in and contribute to everyday cultural life.

Shuman, L. J., Besterfield-Sacre, M., and McGourty, J. (2005). The ABET Professional Skills Can They Be Taught? Can They Be Assessed? Journal of Engineering Education, 94(1), 41-55

Abstract: In developing its new engineering accreditation criteria, ABET reaffirmed a set of hard engineering skills while introducing a second, equally important, set of six professional skills. These latter skills include communication, teamwork, and understanding ethics and professionalism, which we label process skills, and engineering within a global and societal context, lifelong learning, and a knowledge of contemporary issues, which we designate as awareness skills. We review these skills with an emphasis on how they can be taught, or more correctly learned, citing a number of examples of successful and/or promising implementations. We then examine the difficult issue of assessing these skills. We are very positive about a number of creative ways that these skills are being learned, particularly at institutions that are turning to global and/or service learning in combination with engineering design projects to teach and reinforce outcome combinations. We are also encouraged by work directed at assessing these skills, but recognize that there is considerable research that remains to be done.

Amadei1, B. (2003). Program in Engineering for Developing Communities: Viewing the Developing World as the Classroom of the 21st Century. Proceedings, Frontiers in Education Conference, accessed 29 April 2005

Abstract: Engineering curricula in modern universities are mostly designed toward solving the problems of the one billion rich but do not address the needs of the five billion poor on our planet. This is unfortunate as the demand of the developing world for engineering solutions is likely to increase in the forthcoming years due to population growth. There is a need for training a new generation of engineers who could better meet the challenges and needs of the developing world. In the College of Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder, we are developing a new program in Engineering for Developing Communities (EDC). Its overall mission is to educate globally responsible students who can offer sustainable and appropriate technology solutions to the endemic problems faced by developing communities worldwide (including the US). The components of the new program include education, research and development, and outreach and service.

Froyd, J. E. (2005). Assessing and Developing Capabilities to Analyze Broader Contexts for Engineering Practice. Proceedings, 4th Global Colloquium on Engineering Education

Abstract: Trends throughout the world require that future engineering solutions must address a broad range of opportunities and constraints. Many opportunities and constraints will emerge from non-technical facets of the contexts for the engineering solution: economic, environmental, social and global. Reflecting the importance of broader contexts for engineering solutions, ABET included the following outcome in its Engineering Criteria: Graduates will have the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context. Despite the existence of the outcome for almost ten years, engineering programs have had difficulty in coming to grips with approaches both for assessing capabilities related to this outcome and for augmenting these capabilities in their graduates. The paper will offer potential learning objectives, assessment approaches, and instructional approaches related to the ABET outcome in the hopes that the suggestions will spark broader application and future research.


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