Developing Leadership Skills in Introduction to Engineering Courses through Multi-Media Case Studies

  • Chetan S Sankar
  • Barbara Kawulich
  • Howard Clayton
  • P.K. Raju


A literature review identifies a partial list of leadership skills to include developing higher-order cognitive skills, team working skills, positive attitude, and ability to transfer these skills to future environment. This paper discusses the results of research conducted on the use of multiple instructional methodologies in two different Introduction to Engineering classes in order to develop some of the leadership skills. The instructional methodologies used in these courses were lectures, PowerPoint slides and visuals, case studies, quizzes, small group discussions, and projects. The research question addressed in this paper is: Which instructional methodologies enhance students mastery of the skills and possession of the attributes that are increasingly required of engineering graduates? A questionnaire was developed to obtain responses from students. The use of projects and multi-media case studies was perceived as valuable in enhancing the learning experiences and attitude toward engineering. The students valued these experiences because they brought theories and real-world practices together and provided an opportunity for them to work together. In both sections, students believed that they had better problem-solving skills and a better foundation of basic skills as a result of having taken the course.