Gender Differences in Student Satisfaction Surveys
Paper in proceeding, 2019

Engineering programs around the world strive to increase gender balance among their students and endeavor to encourage higher female enrollment. This paper aims to investigate and understand how current engineering students perceive their courses in terms of sufficient prior knowledge and overall general impression and if there are statistically significant differences among male and female students. The discussion on possible reasons for trends in responses will assist in taking actions to accommodate both genders.The study is carried out at the Chalmers University of Technology and focuses on
courses in its Mechanical, Automation, and Industrial Design Engineering programs. This study is a continuation of previous work on variations of student satisfaction between CDIO project courses and “traditional” courses (Malmqvist et al. 2018) with the addition of an analysis of gender aspects. The present study will use the same methodology, namely a mixed methods approach and investigate both closed-form questionnaire responses and free text answers in course surveys. Quantitative methods for comparing means of survey questions and qualitative analyses of free text answers for selected courses are chosen to shed light on patterns of different gender’s perceptions. Aspects of different course characteristics such as traditional, lecture-based vs. project-based and theoretical vs. applied are considered.The results demonstrate that statistically significant differences exist in how male and female students perceive some of their courses and how involved they are in answering course surveys, with this difference being more substantial at bachelor’s level than at master’s level. Possible reasons on why those differences exist and what measures, if any, should be taken to close the gap are discussed.

CDIO Standard 4

Student Satisfaction

CDIO Standard 10

CDIO Standard 5

CDIO Standard 12

Gender Studies


Panagiota Papadopoulou

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Product Development

Mattias Bingerud



Erik Hulthén

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Product Development

Mikael Enelund

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Dynamics

Proceedings of the 15th International CDIO Conference

978-87-7507-459-4 (ISBN)

15th International CDIO Conference
Aarhus, Denmark,

Subject Categories


Gender Studies


Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work



More information

Latest update