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Beyond Selecting a Methodology: Discussing Research Quality, Ethical, and Equity Considerations in Qualitative Engineering Education Research

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Conference

2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

Research Frameworks for Identity and Equity: Equity, Culture & Social Justice in Education Division Technical Session 9

Page Count

19

DOI

10.18260/1-2--40577

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/40577

Download Count

306

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Paper Authors

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Malini Josiam University of Texas at Austin

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Malini Josiam (she/her) is a first year doctoral student in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Her advisor is Dr. Walter Lee. She graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and minor in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2021. At UT Austin, she worked part time in the Women in Engineering Program office as a Strategic Evaluator and Program Assistant. She also conducted research in Engineering Education while at UT Austin. Malini’s current research interests include equity in engineering and sustainability.

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Taylor Johnson Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Taylor Y. Johnson is a Ph.D student in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She earned her Bachelor's from The University of Texas at Austin in Biomedical Engineering. Currently, Taylor serves as the Program Coordinator for the Student Transition Engineering Program (STEP) for the VT Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED). Taylor's current research interests include engineering student support, middle-years of engineering, and educational equity in engineering.

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Janice Hall Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Walter Lee Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Dr. Walter C. Lee is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech, where he also serves as Assistant Director for Research in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED).

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Crystal Pee

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Crystal Pee is a doctoral candidate at Virginia Polytechnic and State University pursuing a Ph.D. in Engineering Education, where she also serves as a graduate research assistant. Her research interests include broadening participation in industry and higher education.

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to divulge the complexities embedded within our research team’s process of designing a qualitative study focused on understanding marginalized students’ experiences in engineering. In this paper, we establish a foundation for fruitful qualitative research, grounded in research quality, ethics, and equity. We discuss how the criteria from these foundational considerations can drive decision making for the various components of a research design. In particular, we focus on decision making around purpose, theory, sampling, and instrumentation. In doing so, we shed light on how each element might be intentionally constructed to a) generate insights on how to disrupt the oppressive environment of engineering education, b) protect vulnerable populations, and c) center participants’ voices. In writing this paper, our goal is to provide a transparent account of decisions that can go into designing a qualitative study and implementing a research grant proposal, keeping in mind how our power and privilege influence every decision in the research process.

Josiam, M., & Johnson, T., & Hall, J., & Lee, W., & Pee, C. (2022, August), Beyond Selecting a Methodology: Discussing Research Quality, Ethical, and Equity Considerations in Qualitative Engineering Education Research Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. 10.18260/1-2--40577

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