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Board # 9 : Characterizing Student Identities in Engineering: Attitudinal Profiles of Engineering Majors

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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

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27950

Download Count

115

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Paper Authors

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Lisa Benson Clemson University

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Lisa Benson is a Professor of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University, with a joint appointment in Bioengineering. Her research focuses on the interactions between student motivation and their learning experiences. Her projects involve the study of student perceptions, beliefs and attitudes towards becoming engineers and scientists, and their problem solving processes. Other projects in the Benson group include effects of student-centered active learning, self-regulated learning, and incorporating engineering into secondary science and mathematics classrooms. Her education includes a B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Vermont, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Clemson University.

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Geoff Potvin Florida International University

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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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Jacqueline Doyle Florida International University

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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 a Ph.D. student in Engineering Education and M.S. student in Industrial Engineering at Purdue University. She completed her undergraduate degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering at San José State University. Dina is a 2016 recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF). Her research interest focuses on first-generation college students, specifically around changing deficit base paradigms by providing asset base perspectives for understanding this community.

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Hank Boone University of Nevada, Reno

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Hank Boone is an Academic Success Coach at Nevada State College and a recent graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno. His research focuses on First Generation engineering college students' engineering identity, belongingness, and how they perceive their college experience. He also worked under his advisor on a project looking at non-normative engineering students and how they may have differing paths to success. His education includes a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Nevada, Reno.

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Abstract

This paper presents results of work completed on our project, Intersectionality of Non-normative Identities in the Cultures of Engineering (InIce). The overarching focus of this project is on how students who hold non-normative identities position themselves, grow through their education, and navigate the cultures of engineering they experience in college. Our goal is to investigate ways to engage students who hold non-normative identities to become more active and lifelong participants in engineering disciplines. Our work is proceeding in three phases: 1) Identify, through a quantitative instrument, the attitudinal profiles of normative and non-normative students in engineering; 2) Characterize students’ normative and non-normative identities through in-depth interviews and analysis of differences between students with normative and non-normative identities in engineering; and 3) Drawing from our findings, develop a workshop and set of courses to incorporate diversity topics into engineering programs to enhance the culture of engineering to be more responsive towards, and inclusive of, a diverse range of student identities. We have completed the first phase of the project in which we quantitatively measured and characterized student groups with normative and non-normative identities in engineering. Our definitions of normative and non-normative for this project are developed through Topological Data Analysis (TDA) of a set of multi-institution survey data (n = 2916). TDA allows identification of groups without imposing a priori hypotheses on how the attitudes of students may group together (nor how they may distinguish between demographic groups). This approach allows the underlying structure of the data to emerge rather than imposing pre-defined definitions of normative attitudes or identities. Our TDA results revealed one group that contains a relatively large number of students (the “normative” group) and a total of seven other distinct, but relatively populated, groups (the “non-normative” groups). We have compiled a summary of the most salient attitudinal constructs in terms of characterizing and distinguishing between all these groups including: motivation (value, goal orientation, future time perspective), engineering and physics identities (performance/competence and recognition beliefs for each), personality traits (neuroticism, extraversion, belongingness) and grit (consistency of interest). We are currently in Phase 2 of our study in which we are conducting a series of qualitative, longitudinal interviews with students selected from normative and non-normative groups to understand how they navigate their engineering experiences and define their educational trajectories over the first two years of college. This data will be deductively analyzed based on our existing attitudinal frameworks as well as inductively coded for emerging themes on how students feel belongingness within engineering culture. This project promises to move traditional measures of demographic data beyond socially constructed perceptions of others and allows for the representation of student diversity from the perspective of each participant. This more accurate reflection of diversity provides novel insight into the experiences of students who might otherwise be ignored or unjustifiably lumped in with other students with whom they share some demographic indicator and how residing at the intersection of multiple measures of diversity can influence students’ experiences in engineering culture.

Benson, L., & Potvin, G., & Kirn, A., & Godwin, A., & Doyle, J., & Rohde, J. A., & Verdín, D., & Boone, H. (2017, June), Board # 9 : Characterizing Student Identities in Engineering: Attitudinal Profiles of Engineering Majors Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27950

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