Motivation of Engineering Students Participating in Multinational Design Projects – Comparison Based on Gender and Class Status

Jorge Rodriguez, Ivan E. Esparragoza


There have been different active-learning initiatives introduced in academia to provide engineering students with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude to be competitive in the global market. These initiatives have been in response to the need in the corporate world for engineers with exposure to global collaborative environments. Consequently, multinational collaborative design projects have been used by the authors as means of introducing professional global skills to engineering students while exposing them to a project-based learning experience. This educational activity is expected to motivate students so that they can start developing the professional skills that will help them to overcome difficulties and to carry out the project successfully. However, this activity faces many challenges including, among others, cultural and academic background differences, language and time zone barriers, and issues with communication tools. Therefore, this work compares the motivation of students before and after their participation in a multinational design project, using gender and class standing as differentiating parameters. To accomplish this objective, the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) was adapted to the implemented multinational collaborative experience and administered to the participating students. For this study, three motivation constructs are taken into consideration: (a) interest/enjoyment, (b) perception of choice, and (c) perceived competence. Results are discussed based on the research questions posed for this comparative work, and result reflections are presented.


student motivation; multinational project; gender differences; international collaboration; class status

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International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) – eISSN: 2192-4880
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