Student Perspectives in an All-Female First-Year Engineering Innovation Course

Kimberly E. Bigelow
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University of Dayton 300 College Park Dayton, OH 45469–0238

In Fall 2008 the University of Dayton first offered their restructured first-year design course entitled Engineering Innovation. A year later an all-female section of the course was offered, in conjunction with the development of a Women in Science and Engineering Living Learning Community. Now having finished the second year of this initiative, this paper focuses on student perspectives of having been in an all-female engineering design class. Reflection papers written by the students detailed both perceived benefits and consequences of the all-female class experience. This paper examines these perceptions and discusses the implications these perceptions have for teaching traditional mixed-gendered innovation courses so that they might be more inclusive to all students.


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