A cross-national investigation of confidence in ABET skills and Kolb learning styles: Korea and the United States

Kimberly Lau, Alice Merner Agogino, Mary Kathryn Thompson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

86 Downloads (Pure)


AC 2011-2331: In this paper, we examine confidence levels in ABET skills and Kolb learning style preferences in lower division students in project-based design courses offered at the University of California at Berkeley and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. With data obtained from online surveys, we compared confidence in ABET-related engineering and design skills by country and gender. We used the learning styles defined by David Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory, for its strong connection with design processes as well as learning. Kolb's model defines four learning styles, which are each highlighted in different stages of design.
The results highlight national and gender differences in students' perception of their development in ABET-related skills. The American students rated themselves higher in creativity, teamwork, ethics, facility with tools of engineering practice, and in recognizing global impact. The Korean students assessed their skills higher in design, problem solving, and communication skills. There was no statistically significant difference in leadership or analytical skills. However, in spite of apparent national differences, the students follow similar gender patterns. The men were more confident in technical and analytical skills, while the women were more confident in communication and teamwork skills. As such, both cultures could benefit from interventions that build skills and confidence in each area. © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 118th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition
Number of pages12
Publication date2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event118th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 26 Jun 201129 Jun 2011


Conference118th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Dive into the research topics of 'A cross-national investigation of confidence in ABET skills and Kolb learning styles: Korea and the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this