The Effect of Gender on Learning Style and Background Experience with First Year Engineering and Technology Students
The purpose of this research is to understand the differences in learning styles and background experiences between male and female engineering and technology students. Many engineering and technology programs are continually seeking new ways to retain female engineering and technology students within their programs. This research explores the possibility that retaining female engineering and technology students may be linked to the form of education they receive and how materials are presented. Two surveys were used in this research: the Dunn and Dunn Building Excellence Survey and an Activities and Accomplishments Inventory. Both surveys were administered to students in introductory engineering and technology courses. The resulting data shows that male and female engineering and technology students cannot be placed into two categories. Each student as an individual learns in a specific way, and no two students are necessarily alike. This study suggests that the goal of education and teaching engineering and technology students should be to make learning more engaging for all and to incorporate multiple ways of learning into the classroom.