Efficacy of an Online Resource for Teaching Interpersonal Problem Solving Skills to Women Graduate Students in Engineering

ABSTRACT

Interpersonal problem solving skills allow engineers to prevent interpersonal difficulties more effectively and to manage conflict, both of which are critical to successful participation on teams. This research provides evidence that the Career WISE online learning environment can improve those skills among women in engineering graduate programs. In a randomized controlled trial, N = 128 female doctoral students were randomly assigned to treatment and wait-list control (WLC) groups; treatment consisted of interacting for at least five hours with an online learning environment with comprehensive instruction in problem-solving applied to common interpersonal situations in the academy. A scenario- based assessment instrument measured participants’ ability to describe how they would apply that problem solving to a fictional scenario, and a rubric was used to score the responses. Results showed that treatment group members had better knowledge of interpersonal problem solving steps and were better able to describe how they would apply problem-solving skills to a relevant scenario.
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Jennifer M. Bekki

Jennifer M. Bekki

Bianca Bernstein

Bianca Bernstein

Natalie Fabert

Natalie Fabert

Natalie Gildar

Natalie Gildar

Amy Way

Amy Way

 

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