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Historically underrepresented students experience situations in the classroom that can negatively impact and undermine student performance and persistence. To aid students, and in particular historically underrepresented students, succeed both academically and socially, previous research has indicated that instructors should create classroom environments that model inclusivity and belonging. However, there is a lack of specific guidance for how to create these environments, especially in engineering classrooms where much of the focus is on technical content. This study is addressing this gap through developing and providing pragmatic, proven, and trusted practices for engineering faculty who are seeking to make their classrooms more inclusive environments for all students.
This research is informed by and aligned with the Theory of Change Model developed by Henderson, Beach, and Finkelstein which notes 4 categories of change strategies for higher education: disseminating curriculum and pedagogy, developing reflective teachers, enacting policy, and developing a shared vision among teachers and stakeholders. We have developed and piloted a list of inclusive classroom practices along with specific details, including implementation times, examples, and difficulty levels, to help faculty prioritize the practices. To support these efforts, we have also convened inclusive classroom focused learning communities for faculty. We are in the process of evaluating the effectiveness of these practices by examining student and faculty perceptions of the classroom environment through feedback and assessments including surveys and interviews.
Following the completion of these tasks, the inclusive practices list will be refined and implemented in classrooms participating in the study. After further study, the practices will be shared across diversity, equity, and inclusion engineering networks to serve as a model for creating more inclusive classrooms.
Vaden, J., & Bilec, M., & Dukes, A., & Nave, A., & Landis, A., & Parrish, K. (2022, August), Developing and Sustaining Inclusive Engineering Learning Communities and Classrooms Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/42013
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