Leader Development Model (LDM) Through Self- and Peer-assessment Across the Curriculum

Alyson Grace Eggleston, Robert J. Rabb

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Leadership development and assessment impact the engineering program curriculum at The Citadel, resulting in embedded indicators and teamed learning activities mapped across all four years of the undergraduate curriculum. The institution-specific leadership model developed at The Citadel prepares students for leadership through teamed challenges and projects, positioning the engineering program to provide robust learning experiences for students. Reinforced in multiple senior-level capstone design courses and a sophomore-level, engineering-specific communications course, students were asked to assess leadership performance during team-based projects. Both sophomore-level communications courses and senior-level design courses used this framework, and students provided Likert-scale survey responses. Student responses include both peer and self-assessments, and they were trained in the use of this instrument in other leader development instruction. All students must learn, experience, and internalize the leadership model over four years. The leadership program further describes individual leadership characteristics, and all students are assessed on their leader development against these characteristics. This instrument reinforces the mission of The Citadel, embedding a character development instrument traditionally emphasized in required leadership studies courses. Further, regular surveying with this instrument resulted in improved teamwork, interaction, and performance for some students. Iterative survey results over four semesters include normalized individual scores, which have been shown to be an effective way to differentiate varying levels of contributed effort among team members. This research presents an application of this leadership development framework, assessed within senior-level engineering capstone design courses and a sophomore-level communications course. While the leadership framework is specific to The Citadel, results indicate that iterative surveying works as a priming mechanism, reinforcing good leadership practices in teams. Additionally, the normalization of scores, as presented here, is an effective way to quantify individual-level effort, and the practice is supported in the literature on STEM-focused approaches to assessment. Findings are intended to be of interest to other undergraduate engineering programs working to enhance teamwork and leadership experiences through assessment-based methods. This paper also offers a comparison to the leadership models in the military and other selected undergraduate institutions with a leadership component in the curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jul 26 2021
Event2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 26 2021Jul 29 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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