Asee peer logo

Board 120: Understanding How First-year Engineering Students Create Effective, Collaborative, and Inclusive Teams

Download Paper |

Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

8

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32211

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32211

Download Count

108

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Nelson S. Pearson University of Nevada, Reno

visit author page

Nelson Pearson is a Ph.D. student at the University of Nevada, Reno. His research interest includes social networks and the integration of diverse populations, engineering culture, development of a sense of belonging, as well as engineering pedagogy. His education includes a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno.

visit author page

biography

Hector Enrique Rodriguez-Simmonds Purdue Engineering Education

visit author page

Raised in South Florida, born in Mexico. Half Colombian and half Mexican; proud MexiColombian. Héctor acquired an MS in Computer Engineering and is currently pursuing a PhD in Engineering Education, both from Purdue University. His research investigates the experiences of students at the intersection of their LGBTQ+, gender, ethnic, and racial identities. He uses critical theories, methodologies, and methods that emphasize the voice of participants in research. As a cisgender, gay, Latino, immigrant, engineer with many "homes" he uses his positionality to help guide his work exploring the narratives of students at the margins of engineering spaces.

visit author page

biography

Tara C. Langus University of Nevada, Reno

visit author page

Tara C. Langus is a Ph.D. student pursuing her degree in STEM Education at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). Prior to graduate school, she completed Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biology in which she studied insect immunology and chemical ecology. She has six years of teaching experience and serves as the instructor for the Women in Science & Engineering Program (WiSE), an academic based resource and professional development program for first-year undergraduates pursuing STEM majors. Her research interests include student attitudes toward diversity, integrating socioscientific and sociopolitical issues in the college STEM classroom, and increasing the representation and retention of underrepresented minorities in STEM.

visit author page

biography

Allison Godwin Purdue University-Main Campus, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0741-3356

visit author page

Allison Godwin, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Her research focuses what factors influence diverse students to choose engineering and stay in engineering through their careers and how different experiences within the practice and culture of engineering foster or hinder belongingness and identity development. Dr. Godwin graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D. in Engineering and Science Education. Her research earned her a National Science Foundation CAREER Award focused on characterizing latent diversity, which includes diverse attitudes, mindsets, and approaches to learning, to understand engineering students’ identity development. She has won several awards for her research including the 2016 American Society of Engineering Education Educational Research and Methods Division Best Paper Award and the 2018 Benjamin J. Dasher Best Paper Award for the IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference. She has also been recognized for the synergy of research and teaching as an invited participant of the 2016 National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium and the Purdue University 2018 recipient of School of Engineering Education Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the 2018 College of Engineering Exceptional Early Career Teaching Award.

visit author page

biography

Adam Kirn University of Nevada, Reno Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6344-5072

visit author page

Adam Kirn is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at University of Nevada, Reno. His research focuses on the interactions between engineering cultures, student motivation, and their learning experiences. His projects involve the study of student perceptions, beliefs and attitudes towards becoming engineers, their problem solving processes, and cultural fit. His education includes a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a M.S. in Bioengineering and Ph.D. in Engineering and Science Education from Clemson University.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

The mixed methods project, Building Supports for Diversity through Engineering Teams (NSF EEC 1531586/1531174), investigates students’ attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions of diversity in engineering teams to understand how students develop expectations and attitudes towards diversity. Previous work has demonstrated that the development of diverse teams leads to both positive and negative outcomes (e.g., better solutions and conflict) and that student attitudes towards diversity are difficult to change. To better understand these ideas in engineering contexts, our guiding research questions are: 1) What changes occur in students’ diversity sensitivity, multicultural effectiveness, and engineering practices as a result of working in diverse teams? 2) How do students’ perceptions of diversity, affect, and engineering practice change because of working on diverse teams?

The work presented is a synthesis of a large-scale quantitative social networking (n = 675) and pre- and post-semester attitudinal survey (n1 = 608 and n2 = 338) and the analysis of several in-depth semi-structured interviews (n = 11) which focused on the experiences of students working in diverse engineering teams. Specifically, we examined student social networks along with self-reported feelings of belongingness. Results revealed that all demographic groups have similar social network interactions. Additional analysis of students’ sense of belonging highlighted that students start their engineering education with a strong sense of belonging. However, the analysis uncovered that female engineering students have a reduced sense of belonging to start their engineering education.

In parallel to the quantitative work, the research team investigated eleven students’ experiences of working in diverse engineering teams using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), a qualitative method focused on understanding the students’ lived experiences. The narratives from IPA provided the research team an opportunity to develop a semi-deductive analysis method to analyze a set of teaming interviews conducted at a second institution. Emerging results indicated that majority students struggle with their diverse teaming experiences, whereas underrepresented/minority students who have overcome adversity seem to integrate inclusive heuristics into their teaming practices more rapidly.

Results of this work have been used to develop and implement new diversity and inclusion training content which have been utilized as part of undergraduate engineering orientation and faculty development workshops. Additionally, the results of this study have been incorporated into a first-year engineering course reaching over 1,900 students. The effects of these training activities are still being assessed as the project continues. These trainings have demonstrated the importance of shifting how diversity is discussed in the engineering classroom. Our data provide insight into how to open and support conversations around engineering diversity to more effectively equip students to discuss diversity. Future work will expand this study to understand how these results transfer to another institution with different cultural demographics and further explore the results of these trainings.

Pearson, N. S., & Rodriguez-Simmonds, H. E., & Langus, T. C., & Godwin, A., & Kirn, A. (2019, June), Board 120: Understanding How First-year Engineering Students Create Effective, Collaborative, and Inclusive Teams Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32211

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015