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ERIC Number: ED540684
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Same Courses, Different Outcomes? Variations in Confidence, Experience, and Preparation in Engineering Design. Research Brief
Morozov, Andrew; Kilgore, Deborah; Yasuhara, Ken; Atman, Cindy
Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (NJ1)
There is evidence in the literature that women have lower confidence in their skills and knowledge than men, particularly in areas considered crucial for engineering, like math and science. This difference has been linked to gender gaps in engineering enrollment and persistence. This study of engineering students extends research on gender differences by examining how confidence with design interacts with academic preparation and the frequency of design experiences in engineering coursework. Patterns of gender differences within the racial/ethnic majority and minority groups are also examined. Overall, the analysis by gender and by majority vs. underrepresented minority (URM) status undertaken in this study provides insights into students' confidence to engage design activities, and their perceptions of the quantity and quality of design education they receive in their coursework. While corroborating some findings from earlier studies, this analysis has also uncovered longitudinal differences in the development of student attitudes during undergraduate study. This study explored confidence to do design with respect to gender and URM status. This line of inquiry directly addresses differences between women and URMs as categories of students. Students' beliefs about the design education they received were also explored. This line of inquiry is important because it addresses a potential source of confidence--the perceived quantity and quality of the coursework itself.
Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education. Available from: University of Washington. Box 352183, Seattle, WA 98195. Fax: 206-221-3161; e-mail: celtad@engr.; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: University of Washington, Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE)