An Exploration of Female Engineering Students' Functional Roles in the Context of First-year Engineering Courses

Juebei Chen, Jiabin Zhu, Tianyi Zheng
2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
Engineering profession has been regarded as a male-dominant field because of the low representation of females. With an aim to understand female engineering student's perceived group roles in the context of first-year engineering courses, we explored female students' learning experience in a group project setting in this workin-progress using Benne and Sheats' functional roles model. Based on our qualitative data, we found that female students performed a range of roles in the group project. In
more » ... e group project. In the dimension of task roles, female students usually took the roles of assistants, opinion giver, coordinators and initiator-managers. In the dimension of social roles, females served as harmonizers, followers or gatekeepers. As to the dimension of individual roles, some female students self-reported the feeling of being an outsider in working with a project group. Suggestions were proposed to promote engineering curriculum design and improve female students' learning experience in project-based learning.
doi:10.18260/1-2--27562 fatcat:z7zf7cjx4jdu3ohwjs6sapsd5e