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Board # 145 : Reshaping Engineering Classroom Norms to Expand the Profession

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Robin G. Tuchscherer Northern Arizona University

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Dr. Tuchscherer currently serves as an Assistant Professor at Northern Arizona University where he has taught since 2011. Prior to academia, he accumulated eight years of professional experience as a practicing structural engineer and brings a practitioner's perspective to the academic and research setting. He teaches core undergraduate engineering courses, structural analysis, and reinforced concrete design. His primary research focus is related to improving our understanding of the design and behavior of concrete structures; and he is actively involved within the professional engineering community. Furthermore, Dr. Tuchscherer has also supervised sponsored research and educational reform initiatives related to the improvement of student learning.

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Ron Gray Northern Arizona University

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Ron Gray, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of science education in the Center for Science Teaching and Learning at Northern Arizona University. He graduated from Oregon State University with a doctorate in science education. His work largely focuses on providing secondary science teachers the tools to design and implement learning experiences for their students that are effective and authentic to the discipline. Much of this work has been centered on model-based inquiry and the integration of scientific practices in a supportive and structured way. He has been funded by NSF and other agencies to conduct research on preservice teacher education, undergraduate engineering education, and community partnerships in secondary education.

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Christine Allison Gray Northern Arizona University

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Christine Allison Gray is a doctoral student in the College of Education at Northern Arizona University. She also serves as a graduate assistant on the Reshaping Norms project in the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences. Her research focuses on the influence of classroom climate on the development of undergraduate students' professional engineering identity.

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By some estimates, roughly half the students that initially enroll in an engineering program change their major. Attempts to fix this "leaky pipeline" rarely address the fact that the culture, rather than academics, may be driving students away. As they form their professional identity, students ask themselves, "What are the attributes inherent in being an engineer?" Far too often, the answer to that question is defined by outdated ways of knowing, thinking, and doing. Thus, to expand the profession, there is a need to identify and understand the impact of social-engineering norms in university programs. Reshaping Norms serves to address this need by studying the impacts of a series of classroom pedagogies, strategies, and initiatives aimed at: • creating an inclusive classroom community; and • incorporating relevancy into course activities. The research plan is guided by the following questions: • To what extent do Reshaping Norms classroom interventions affect underrepresented students’ engineering identity? • To what extent do the Reshaping Norms classroom interventions affect underrepresented engineering students’ self-efficacy in engineering? This two-year project will be designed and implemented over three iterations (alpha, beta, and gamma), employing an outcome-focused approach consistent with the tenets of design-based research. Data collected during the alpha and beta iterations will be analyzed to assess the effectiveness of the intervention tools, determine evidence of growth of students’ interest and/or self-efficacy, inform revisions to subsequent interventions, and inevitably, to develop a full quasi-experimental pilot study (gamma iteration). The pilot study will include data collection from both intervention and control courses within two separate sections of an introductory engineering course. To answer the research questions, the study will couple qualitative data with the quantitative results of two previously tested instruments: 1) one to measure engineering identity, and; 2) one to measure self-efficacy toward the field of engineering. Upon conclusion, this study will generate new findings about the formation of engineering students’ identity as it relates to their feelings of belonging in the profession.

Tuchscherer, R. G., & Gray, R., & Gray, C. A. (2017, June), Board # 145 : Reshaping Engineering Classroom Norms to Expand the Profession Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27763

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