An inductive qualitative analysis of student interviews on engineering global preparedness

Scott Charles Streiner, Erin McCave, Svetlana V. Levonisova, Rachel Elizabeth Savage, Mary E. Besterfield-Sacre, Gisele Ragusa, Lisa Benson, Cheryl Matherly, Larry J. Shuman

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

    5 Scopus citations


    International experiences are increasingly viewed as an essential component of engineering education. However, limited research has been conducted that leads to 1) a comprehensive definition of engineering global preparedness, 2) determination of how global preparedness is achieved, or 3) delineation of how particular experiences impact the development of students' engineering global preparedness. This paper discusses preliminary research findings from the second phase of a multi-institutional research project that investigates how globally focused learning experiences within engineering education specifically impact students' preparedness for global challenges. This multi-pronged research consists of three integrated studies. Results are reported from one portion of this research that focused on the international education experiences of undergraduate students. Students completed a background questionnaire and two assessment instruments that measured global preparedness. Based on the results of the two assessment instruments, students were selected to be interviewed to explore why they scored "high" or "low" on the respective measures. The purpose was to identify and describe emerging themes related to engineering global preparedness not captured by the questionnaire. Interview participants were selected using a cross-case matching methodology based on their global preparedness measure scores (i.e., high vs low scorers). Twenty-five undergraduate engineering students enrolled at the three collaborating universities were interviewed. Interview data were holistically reviewed with an a priori coding schema based on the research objectives and then re-coded according to the final coding schema by multiple research team members for inter-rater reliability purposes, and arbitrated where necessary. Differences in students' reflections emerged based on the depth of their engagement with the culture and community in the host country in which they had participated in an international experience. The results from this study broaden the knowledge base regarding the contextual factors related to global preparedness and offer the engineering education community insights into the dynamic interaction between students and the international experiences in which they participate.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
    Volume122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for Society
    Issue number122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for...
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
    Event2015 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Seattle, United States
    Duration: Jun 14 2015Jun 17 2015

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Engineering(all)

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