July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Equity and Culture & Social Justice in Education
Past researchers have linked diversity to increased creativity in engineering teams. Self-efficacy and retention also relate to how well students believe they fit socially and academically in engineering. This paper reports on three qualitative studies at one university aimed to improve students’ sense of belonging in engineering. The three interventions included: a diversity workshop in an introduction to engineering course, a student-driven project to encourage welcoming and diverse study groups, and a junior-level teamwork design project.
The study found the engineering program has a positive climate inside the classroom and a slightly less positive climate outside the classroom. Even when junior-level students report that diverse teams are more creative, students do not strongly believe that different backgrounds are important and maintain biases. The student led intervention was successful, as the upper-level students produced a video about the value of diverse study groups. We confirmed that traditional engineering students are resistant to changes in student culture, as evidenced by the difficulty in shifting student bias towards inclusion in the three interventions. The most promising approach is student-led, where senior students worked to change the student culture directly.
Dillon, H., & VanDeGrift, T. (2021, July), Creating an Inclusive Engineering Student Culture Through Diverse Teams: Instructor-led and Student-led Approaches Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36871
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