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Classroom Belonging and Student Performance in the Introductory Engineering Classroom

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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

First-Year Programs: Paying More Attention to Retention

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

22

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28034

Download Count

207

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Paper Authors

biography

Mark Schar Stanford University

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The focus of Mark’s research can broadly be described as “pivot thinking,” the cognitive aptitudes and abilities that encourage innovation, and the tension between design engineering and business management cognitive styles. To encourage these thinking patterns in young engineers, Mark has developed a Scenario Based Learning curriculum that attempts to blend core engineering concepts with selected business ideas. Mark is also researches empathy and mindfulness and its impact on gender participation in engineering education. He is a Research Scientist and Lecturer in the School of Engineering at Stanford University and teaches the course ME310x Product Management and ME305 Statistics for Design Researchers.

Mark has extensive background in consumer products management, having managed more than 50 consumer driven businesses over a 25-year career with The Procter & Gamble Company. In 2005, he joined Intuit, Inc. as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer and initiated a number of consumer package goods marketing best practices, introduced the use of competitive response modeling and "on-the-fly" A|B testing program to qualify software improvements.

Mark is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of One Page Solutions, a consulting firm that uses the OGSP® process to help technology and branded product clients develop better strategic plans. Mark is a member of The Band of Angels, Silicon Valley's oldest organization dedicated exclusively to funding seed stage start-ups. In addition, he serves on the board of several technology start-up companies.

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Sophia Lerner Pink Stanford University

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Sophia Pink is a sophomore studying engineering at Stanford University. She began conducting research in Dr. Sheri Sheppard’s Designing Education Lab in June 2016. Sophia’s academic interests include mechanical engineering, human-centered design and social science research.

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Kayla Powers Stanford University

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Adrian Piedra Stanford University

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Adrian Piedra is pursuing an MS in Mechanical Engineering (ME) at Stanford University. He is a member of the graduate teaching assistants in the ME department at Stanford, and will be assisting with engineering design courses for the duration of his graduate studies. Adrian holds a BS (summa cum laude) in ME from the University of Florida. During his time at the University of Florida, he was a teaching assistant for engineering analysis courses.

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Shivani Alexandra Torres Stanford University

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Shivani is pursuing her MS in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, as a first year Co-Terminal student, exploring intersection of biotechnology, product realization, smart product design, and design for manufacture. She holds B.S. in Bioengineering and a minor in Product Design, with an emphasis in medical device innovation and pre-medical studies. Her interests in education include increasing accessibility of engineering to students of all backgrounds, especially underrepresented minorities, investigating how to encourage young girls and women to get involved with manufacturing, and how mentorship and applications of engineering problem solving can influence identity. Specifically, I am particularly intrigued by the role closeness in academic setting can play on self-efficacy on proficiency.

In addition to my role as a student, I have also had a number of amazing opportunities to teach. This year (2015-2016) I have the privilege of being a Course Assistant for three classes at Stanford: (1) E14: Introduction to Solid Mechanics; (2) BIOE51: Anatomy for Bioengineers; (3) BIOE80: Introduction to Bioengineering and Engineering Living Matter. I also have pleasure of serving as the Safety and Operations Manager at the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory, which includes managing the machine shop and teaching students how to use the machinery. In this role I am able to advise and educate students on design choices for their personal and research projects from ideation phases to functional products, with an emphasis on design and manufacturing techniques.

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Kai Jun Chew Stanford University

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Kai Jun (KJ) Chew is a Research Data Analyst in the Mechanical Engineering department at Stanford University. He is currently working closely with Dr. Sheri Sheppard on two fronts: introducing reflective activities as part of the Consortium to Promote Reflection in Engineering Education (CPREE) and implementing the Continuous Improvement Program as part of the ABET evaluation. Born and raised in Malaysia, KJ received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC) and his Master of Science in the same field at Stanford University. He is currently exploring the field of data science as his potential career path.

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Sheri Sheppard Stanford University

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Sheri D. Sheppard, Ph.D., P.E., is professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. Besides teaching both undergraduate and graduate design and education related classes at Stanford University, she conducts research on engineering education and work-practices, and applied finite element analysis. From 1999-2008 she served as a Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, leading the Foundation’s engineering study (as reported in Educating Engineers: Designing for the Future of the Field). In addition, in 2011 Dr. Sheppard was named as co-PI of a national NSF innovation center (Epicenter), and leads an NSF program at Stanford on summer research experiences for high school teachers. Her industry experiences includes engineering positions at Detroit's "Big Three:" Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and Chrysler Corporation.

At Stanford she has served a chair of the faculty senate, and recently served as Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

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Abstract

This Complete Paper – Research describes a pilot study among post-secondary students involved in their first engineering-specific class and explores the concept of classroom belonging. The hypothetical premise of this research is that grade performance is, in part, determined by a student’s sense of belonging in a classroom. Further, “classroom belonging” is a function of several factors including social belonging, engineering self-efficacy, engineering identity and closeness to others in the classroom. This study revealed that a student’s sense of classroom belonging has a significant, positive impact on grade performance. The most important components of classroom belonging are the student’s sense of social belonging in the classroom and their engineering identity.

The survey-based quantitative data were complemented with qualitative interviews with underrepresented minority engineering students. These allowed us to explore their classroom belonging experiences and showed that classroom belonging is a familiar concept and a function of two separate sources of belonging: academic belonging and social belonging. Academic self-efficacy, curriculum content motivation and an ability to share academic struggles with others were important contributors to academic belonging. Social similarity, successful team experiences and a general sense of caring were also considered helpful to building social belonging in the classroom. Implications and ideas to build engineering classroom belonging from this research are discussed.

Schar, M., & Pink, S. L., & Powers, K., & Piedra, A., & Torres, S. A., & Chew, K. J., & Sheppard, S. (2017, June), Classroom Belonging and Student Performance in the Introductory Engineering Classroom Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28034

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