eCite Digital Repository

Strategies for promoting cultural diversity within student laboratory groups in an engineering degree course at an Australian university


Jaikaran-Doe, S and Leon de la Barra, B and Lyden, S and Wang, I and Fan, F and Henderson, A and Franklin, E and Doe, P, Strategies for promoting cultural diversity within student laboratory groups in an engineering degree course at an Australian university, Proceedings of the 29th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Annual Conference (AAEE 2018), 09-12 December 2018, Hamilton, New Zealand, pp. 162-168. (2018) [Refereed Conference Paper]


Copyright Statement

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Official URL:


Context: Engineering graduates (Stage 1 Professional Engineers) must be able to demonstrate effective team membership and team leadership. Australasian engineering degrees include this competency as a course learning outcome. Students work in small groups in laboratory sessions, design classes or for oral presentations to gain this competency. Students tend to form groups with little cultural diversity if allowed to self-select. Mandating cultural diversity within groups is resisted by domestic students. A further issue is individual assessment within groups.

Purpose: What strategies are effective in promoting cultural diversity within groups of engineering students?

Approach: Ethics approval will be sought to conduct semi-structured interviews with a culturally diverse selection of students and teaching staff. Qualitative data will be analysed (with NVIVO) on students' and staff experience with group work.

Results: Analysis of the structured interviews is expected to provide an insight into the factors limiting the effectiveness of group-work to deliver the required team-work competencies. Acceptable methods for group formation and individual assessment within groups may emerge. Strategies which assure harmony within culturally diverse groups will be sought. These strategies will be presented to a workshop at AAEE2018.

Conclusions: The structured interview results, together with the literature review, will inform further research leading to the identification of effective strategies to promote cultural diversity within groups.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:group-work, cultural diversity, engineering graduate competency
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Other engineering
Research Field:Other engineering not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Teaching and curriculum not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Jaikaran-Doe, S (Dr Seeta Jaikaran-Doe)
UTAS Author:Leon de la Barra, B (Dr Bernardo Leon de la Barra)
UTAS Author:Lyden, S (Dr Sarah Lyden)
UTAS Author:Wang, I (Dr Isabel Wang)
UTAS Author:Fan, F (Dr Frances Fan)
UTAS Author:Henderson, A (Associate Professor Alan Henderson)
UTAS Author:Franklin, E (Associate Professor Evan Franklin)
UTAS Author:Doe, P (Dr Peter Doe)
ID Code:129702
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:NC Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics
Deposited On:2018-12-14
Last Modified:2022-09-01
Downloads:29 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page