About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5224-5230
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1269

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

A COMPARATIVE STUDY ON PERCEPTIONS OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN ENGINEERING STUDENTS

S. Oda, A.K. Yamazaki, M. Inoue

Shibaura Institute of Technology (JAPAN)
Discussions on restructuring of engineering education has increased to enhance students’ ability to thrive in a global society. Previous studies have proposed varying definitions of global competency for engineering, and its dimension has been expanded from basic knowledge to attitudes and mindsets including the perceptions of cultural diversity. Universities in many countries developed international programs to enhance their students’ capability to work in diverse environments. The evaluation of learning outcomes through those programs have been attempted by using various assessment tools. Although there has been an accumulation of studies on the assessment of engineering student’s cultural competency in the U.S. and Europe, little cross-cultural research in this context has been done including Japan, the U.S., and Europe.
In this study, a survey was conducted to measure and to compare the perceptions of cultural diversity among different groups: (1) Japanese students who participated in international programs, (2) students without international experiences, (3) technical professionals who have engaged in global business, and (4) American and European engineering students. The Millville-Guzman Universality Diversity Scale short form (MGUDS-S) was selected for this survey with its high internal consistency, retest reliability and accessibility. This instrument contains 15 items to assess behavioral, cognitive and emotional dimensions of “universal-diverse orientation”. Since this survey put its focus on cultural diversity and needed to encourage examinee’s better understanding of implications of each item, the authors translated those questions into Japanese with several adaptations under the approval of the original MGUDS-S study's lead author.
The survey for the students was conducted at Shibaura Institute of Technology and collected responses from 353 Japanese undergraduate and master’s course students. One hundred one of them had the experience of participating in international programs and 96 students had been overseas only for sightseeing, while the number of students without international experiences were 138. The authors also received valid responses from 35 Japanese engineering professionals. Regarding comparison with other nationalities, the results of a previous MGUDS-S survey in Sanger et al.’s 2015 paper entitled “Changing Attitudes in Cross Cultural Diversity through International Senior Capstone Projects” was adapted. The population of the survey included 22 international professionals, 94 American students, 117 Polish and 42 German undergraduates in engineering departments.
Our study result indicated that the scores for the students who participated in international programs were higher and close to the professionals, while those for the students with the experience of sightseeing were roughly at the same lower level as ones for the students without any international experience, particularly in the behavioral dimension. The behavioral and cognitive scores of the experienced students were also reached at the same level as ones for American and European students. These results show that the experience of studying/working in global environments can change students’ awareness and behaviors toward cultural diversity. These findings can contribute to developing and improving educational programs for future global engineers.
@InProceedings{ODA2018ACO,
author = {Oda, S. and Yamazaki, A.K. and Inoue, M.},
title = {A COMPARATIVE STUDY ON PERCEPTIONS OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN ENGINEERING STUDENTS},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.1269},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.1269},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {5224-5230}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Oda AU - A.K. Yamazaki AU - M. Inoue
TI - A COMPARATIVE STUDY ON PERCEPTIONS OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN ENGINEERING STUDENTS
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1269
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 5224
EP - 5230
ER -
S. Oda, A.K. Yamazaki, M. Inoue (2018) A COMPARATIVE STUDY ON PERCEPTIONS OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN ENGINEERING STUDENTS, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 5224-5230.
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