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A Failed Attempt to Develop a Measure of Engineering Students’ Subjective Task-value for Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Understanding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from Students' Perspectives

Tagged Topics

Diversity and ASEE Diversity Committee

Page Count

28

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29676

Download Count

19

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Paper Authors

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Ashley R. Taylor Virginia Tech

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Ashley Taylor is a doctoral candidate in engineering education at Virginia Polytechnic and State University, where she also serves as a program assistant for the Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity and an advisor for international senior design projects in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Ashley received her MS in Mechanical Engineering, MPH in Public Health Education, and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. Her research interests include access to higher education, broadening participation in engineering, the integration of engineering education and international development, and building capacity in low and middle income countries through inclusive engineering education.

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Walter C. Lee Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5082-1411

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Dr. Walter Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Education and the assistant director for research in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED), both at Virginia Tech. His research interests include co-curricular support, student success and retention, and diversity. Lee received his Ph.D in engineering education from Virginia Tech, his M.S. in industrial & systems engineering from Virginia Tech, and his B.S. in industrial engineering from Clemson University.

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Benjamin David Lutz Oregon State University

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Ben Lutz is a Postdoctoral Scholar in Engineering Education at Oregon State University. His research interests include innovative pedagogies in engineering design, conceptual change and development, school-to-work transitions for new engineers, and efforts for inclusion and diversity within engineering. His current work explores how students describe their own learning in engineering design and how that learning supports transfer of learning from school into professional practice as well as exploring students' conceptions of diversity and its importance within engineering fields.

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Holly M. Matusovich Virginia Tech

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Dr. Matusovich is an Associate Professor in Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Education. She has her doctorate in Engineering Education and her strengths include qualitative and mixed methods research study design and implementation. She is/was PI/Co-PI on 10 funded research projects including a CAREER grant. She has won several Virginia Tech awards including a Dean’s Award for Outstanding New Faculty. Her research expertise includes using motivation and related frameworks to study student engagement in learning, recruitment and retention in engineering programs and careers, faculty teaching practices and intersections of motivation and learning strategies.

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Cynthia Hampton Virginia Tech

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Cynthia Hampton is a doctoral candidate in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Her research centers on change agency, system structures, and factors that relate to broadening participation of unserrepresented groups in engineering.

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Abstract

While several studies have enlightened our understanding of the experiences of underrepresented students in engineering, less work has focused on understanding the different beliefs held by all students about diversity and inclusion in engineering. Because beliefs and attitudes are believed to directly impact behavior, it is imperative to understand students’ beliefs and attitudes about diversity and inclusion in engineering. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to our understanding of the values students’ hold about these topics. We developed close-ended items to measure students’ values on these topics, drawing upon Subjective Task Value (STV) constructs of Expectancy Value Theory (EVT) as well as collaborations with diversity office practitioners. In this paper, we discuss in detail the development of measures along with construct validation using several iterations of exploratory factor analysis, and the lessons we learned from this process.

Through data analysis, we concluded that many items on our instrument were highly correlated and thus the instrument is not suitable for confirmatory factor analysis. Instead, we offer pragmatic suggestions for refinement of the instrument. We recommend a deeper examination of the appropriateness of EVT for the research topic. We also recommend avoiding double-barreled questions, such as questions that include a dimension of diversity (e.g., race, gender) as well as a STV construct. Given the research topic, we discuss the possibility of social desirability response bias and recommend including a social desirability subscale in future iterations of item development. Lastly, we discuss implied assumptions of the item development to date, which may have wrongly supposed engineering students to have the same nuanced understanding of dimensions of diversity in engineering as researchers. With these suggestions, we aim to advance our study’s purpose, which is to develop measures of students’ values about diversity and inclusion in engineering. Through this study and future work, we strive to enlighten research- and practice-based efforts to engage students in the diversification and inclusivity of the engineering field, and prevent future researchers from making the same methodological mistakes.

Taylor, A. R., & Lee, W. C., & Lutz, B. D., & Matusovich, H. M., & Hampton, C. (2018, June), A Failed Attempt to Develop a Measure of Engineering Students’ Subjective Task-value for Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29676

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