GEC Project - Resource Guide

The Global Engineering Competency (GEC) project aims to help technical professionals learn to more effectively span cultural boundaries. At the heart of this project is a collection of 70+ global engineering work scenarios designed for instruction and assessment. This page offers a variety of materials to help support individuals wishing to use these scenarios for instructional and/or assessment purposes. Please visit our About page for additional information.

Scenario-Based Instruction

Background: Globalization and internationalization trends are reshaping engineering education and professional practice. In light of this reality, many courses and programs are being created to cultivate global competency in both academic and industry environments. This opens up rich possibilities for creating innovative new materials and approaches that can help prepare current and future technical professionals for the global realities of their work. We offer our scenario-based approach as a high-impact training strategy that can be used in diverse training environments.

Getting Started: For individuals who are new to scenario-based instruction, we recommend starting with GEC Scenario #1: Shanghai Quality and GEC Scenario #5: Rating for Training. Both scenarios feature in-depth instructional guides, making them easier to deploy in training settings. Additionally, the Global Engineering Competency Vignette #1 video is based on GEC Scenario #1 and is very useful for instructional/training applications.

Facilitation Strategies: Case-based and intercultural training techniques are often very appropriate when planning and facilitating scenario-based instructional activities. The paper by Jesiek, Buswell, and Zhu (2018) [2] has some tips and resources related to such training strategies.


Scenario-Based Assessment

Background: In both higher education and industry settings there is a growing need for valid and reliable assessment tools that measure levels of global competency among engineers and other technical professionals. Such assessments are especially needed to track learning and growth during training interventions, and for evaluating the capabilities of students and professionals before going abroad. The assessment scenarios at the heart of the GEC project are based on the well-established situational judgment test (SJT) format, and were developed over many rounds of writing, piloting, and revision. More information about this process can be found in Jesiek et al. (2015) [5] and Jesiek, Buswell and Zhu (2018) [2]. Also, a survey of scenario-based and situational approaches to assessment can be found in the review paper by Jesiek and Woo (2011) [4].

Coding/Scoring Responses: There are two main approaches to using the scenarios presented on this site for assessment purposes. The first is to deploy one or more scenarios in an open-ended format (i.e., without specific action items to select or rate), and then code the resulting responses. Examples of this approach can be found in Downey et al. (2006) [1], Jesiek, Haller, and Thompson (2014) [3], and Zhu and Jesiek (2017) [8]. A second approach involves deploying the scenarios with a pre-defined set of response options, with the results evaluated based on pre-existing scoring keys. Variations of this approach are described in Jesiek, Buswell, and Zhu (2018) [2], and also implemented on our companion Global Assessment Platform (GAP) web site.

Other Resources

Global Engineering Competency (GEC): This project is organized around the concept of global engineering competency (GEC), or those attributes and capabilities uniquely or especially relevant for engineering practice in global context. The sample scenarios presented on this site are in turn organized around three specific dimensions of GEC, namely technical coordination, engineering cultures, and ethics, standards, and regulations. For further insights about how we conceptualize GEC and its three dimensions, we suggest reviewing the papers by Jesiek et al. (2013) [6] and Jesiek et al. (2014) [7]. Other approaches to assessing GEC and related constructs, including an overview of our own Global Engineering Competency Scale (GECS), can be found in Jesiek, Buswell, and Zhu (2018) [2].


[1] Downey, Gary L., Juan C. Lucena, Barbara Moskal, Thomas Bigley, Chris Hays, Brent Jesiek, Liam Kelly, Jane Lehr, Jonson Miller, Amy Nichols-Belo, Sharon Ruff, and Rosamond Parkhurst. (2006). "The Globally Competent Engineer: Working Effectively with People Who Define Problems Differently." Journal of Engineering Education, 95(2): 107-122.
[2] Jesiek, Brent K., Natascha T. Buswell, and Qin Zhu. (2018). "Global Engineering Competency: Assessment Tools and Training Strategies." Proceedings of the 2018 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Salt Lake City, UT, June 24-27, 2018.
[3] Jesiek, Brent K., Yating Haller, and Julia Thompson. (2014). "Developing Globally Competent Engineering Researchers: Outcomes-Based Instructional and Assessment Strategies from the IREE 2010 China Research Abroad Program." Advances in Engineering Education, 4(1).
[4] Jesiek, Brent K. and Sang Eun Woo. (2011). "Realistic Assessment for Realistic Instruction: Situational Assessment Strategies for Engineering Education and Practice." Proceedings of the SEFI Annual Conference 2011, Lisbon, Portugal, September 27-30, 2011.
[5] Jesiek, Brent K., Sang Eun Woo, Qin Zhu, Kavitha D. Ramane, and Neha Choudhary. (2015). "Defining and Assessing Global Engineering Competency: Methodological Reflections." Proceedings of the 2015 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Seattle, WA, June 14-17, 2015.
[6] Jesiek, Brent K., Qin Zhu, Julia Thompson, Andrea Mazzurco, and Sang Eun Woo. (2013). "Global Engineering Competencies and Cases." Proceedings of the 2013 ASEE International Forum, Atlanta, GA, June 22, 2013.
[7] Jesiek, Brent K., Qin Zhu, Sang Eun Woo, Julia Thompson, and Andrea Mazzurco. (2014). "Global Engineering Competency in Context: Situations and Behaviors." Online Journal of Global Engineering Education, 8(1).
[8] Zhu, Qin., and Brent K. Jesiek. (2017). "A Pragmatic Approach to Ethical Decision-Making in Engineering Practice: Characteristics, Evaluation Criteria, and Implications for Instruction and Assessment." Science and Engineering Ethics, 23(3): 663-679. doi:10.1007/s11948-016-9826-6

Additional Resources: GEC Project - About, GEC Project - Scenario Index, GEC Project - Category Guide

Citation: Jesiek, B. K. and Woo, S. E. (Eds.). (2018). GEC Project - Resource Guide. Retrieved from

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1160455 and 1254323. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. We also acknowledge support for this work from Purdue's Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research (CILMAR).