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Board # 75 : Building Supports for Diversity through Engineering Teams

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

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

Page Count

10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27918

Download Count

135

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Paper Authors

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Adam Kirn University of Nevada, Reno

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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.

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

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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. She is the recipient of a 2014 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Educational Research and Methods Division Apprentice Faculty Grant. 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 2016 New Faculty Fellow for the Frontiers in Engineering Education Annual Conference. She also was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow for her work on female empowerment in engineering which won the National Association for Research in Science Teaching 2015 Outstanding Doctoral Research Award.

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Nelson Pearson University of Nevada, Reno

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Hector Enrique Rodriguez-Simmonds Purdue Engineering Education

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Raised in South Florida, born in Mexico. Half Colombian and half Mexican; proud Mexilombian. Héctor acquired an MS in Computer Engineering and is currently pursuing a PhD in Engineering Education, both from Purdue University. His research interests are in investigating the experiences of LGBTQ+ students in engineering, dabbling with critical methodologies and methods for conducting and analyzing research, and exploring embodied cognition.

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Jacqueline Ann Rohde Clemson University

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Jacqueline Rohde is a senior undergraduate student in Bioengineering at Clemson University. Her research in engineering education focuses on the development student identity and attitudes with respect to engineering. She is a member of the National Scholars Program, Clemson University’s most prestigious merit-based scholarship. She is also involved in efforts to include the Grand Challenges of Engineering into the general engineering curricula at Clemson University.

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Dina Verdín Purdue

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Dina Verdín is an Engineering Education and Industrial Engineering graduate student at Purdue University. She completed her undergraduate degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering at San José State University. Dina's research interest focuses on first-generation college students, specifically around changing the deficit base perspective to an asset base approach.

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Monique S Ross Florida International University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6320-636X

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Monique Ross holds a doctoral degree in Engineering Education from Purdue University. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Elizabethtown College, a Master’s degree in Computer Science and Software Engineering from Auburn University, eleven years of experience in industry as a software engineer, and three years as a full-time faculty in the departments of computer science and engineering. Her interests focus on broadening participation in engineering through the exploration of: 1) race, gender, and identity in the engineering workplace; 2) discipline-based education research (with a focus on computer science and computer engineering courses) in order to inform pedagogical practices that garner interest and retain women and minorities in computer-related engineering fields. 

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Kyle Patrick Vealey West Chester University of Pennsylvania

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Kyle P. Vealey is an Assistant Professor of English at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include technical and professional communication, rhetoric of science, rhetorical theory, and public rhetoric.

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Benjamin P. Jackson Purdue University

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Swetha Nittala Purdue University, Engineering Education Dept.

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Tiantian Li Purdue University

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Pursing a Bachelor's Degree in Pharmaceutical Processing Engineering within the ABE department in Purdue University. Has a profound interest in Engineering Education.

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Abstract

Engineering has become a globally focused career with the need to work with people from diverse backgrounds. Researchers seeking to improve students’ teaming skills have found ways to assess team member effectiveness and development of teaming skills. Despite the emphasis on the importance of developing engineering students’ teaming skills, little research has been conducted on how students develop sensitivity for students from different cultures and backgrounds within teams in first-year engineering programs. Here we define diversity sensitivity as students’ multicultural openness and actions taken to incorporate diverse students. To address the lack of literature on diversity and teaming this work examines the following research questions: What changes occur in students’ diversity sensitivity, multicultural effectiveness, and engineering practices as a result of working in diverse teams? How do students’ perceptions of diversity, affect, and engineering practices change as a result of working on diverse teams?

The focus of this paper is on the first phase of this three phase project, in which students’ multicultural openness, diversity sensitivity, and teaming effectiveness were measured quantitatively. Additionally, results from qualitative in-depth interviews further develop emerging trends in the quantitative portions of the work. Survey data were collected from participants enrolled in first semester first-year engineering programs at two institutions (n = 1206) as well as data from the Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness (n = 2763 inclusive of survey participants). We used linear modeling, advanced clustering techniques, and pre-post comparisons to understand underlying student attitudes as well as the ways in which students’ attitudes may shift over the course of the semester. Preliminary results indicate that students’ awareness of diversity increased over the semester; however, unwillingness to take action to support diverse groups also increased. We also found that student attitudes towards teaming are ‘sticky’ and difficult to shift over a single-semester experience even when teaming effectiveness and diversity are explicitly taught in the classroom. Additionally, five teams were observed throughout the course of the semester. These observations were conducted to understand how students interact in ways both explicit and implicit. that may or may not improve belongingness in engineering during teaming activities. Students from teams were interviewed individually after completion of their project to understand their perceptions of diversity. Initial trends indicate a valuing of diversity but a lack of adaptation for diverse individuals due to the demands of engineering tasks. Results of this quantitative and qualitative work were used to further refine instruments and data collection protocols for replication in the subsequent phases of the project.

Addressing how student teaming experiences influence students’ diversity sensitivity and multicultural openness can uncover how we can train engineers to work to include diverse individuals in engineering and potentially warm the chilly climate in engineering. Creating environments and individuals who are fostering of and open to diversity can serve to generate engineers who are capable of designing for diverse needs when addressing the grand challenges in engineering. The next phase of this study will include an expansion to two additional institutions.

Kirn, A., & Godwin, A., & Pearson, N., & Rodriguez-Simmonds, H. E., & Rohde, J. A., & Verdín, D., & Ross, M. S., & Vealey, K. P., & Jackson, B. P., & Nittala, S., & Li, T. (2017, June), Board # 75 : Building Supports for Diversity through Engineering Teams Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27918

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: © 2017 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