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Evaluating the Impact of Design Sessions on Participants’ Perceptions of Diversity and Inclusion in the Professional Formation of Biomedical Engineers

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

DEED Postcard Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

16

DOI

10.18260/1-2--30447

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30447

Download Count

479

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Paper Authors

biography

Rucha Joshi Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0456-233X

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Rucha received her BS in Biotechnology from Kolhapur, India and thereafter came to Vanderbilt University to work on her MS developing smart bio-materials for drug delivery applications. A biomedical engineer with expertise in biomaterials, tissue engineering, and drug delivery, Rucha is now pursuing post-doctoral research in biomedical engineering education. She is passionate about STEM pedagogy, design thinking, project-based learning and educational entrepreneurship.

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biography

Carla B. Zoltowski Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Carla B. Zoltowski is an assistant professor of engineering practice in the Schools of Electrical and Computer Engineering and (by courtesy) Engineering Education, and Director of the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program within the College of Engi

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Andrew O. Brightman Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Andrew O. Brightman serves as Assistant Head for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Engineering Practice in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. His research background is in cellular biochemistry, tissue engineering, and engineering ethi

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Sean Eddington Purdue University

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Sean Eddington (Ph.D., Purdue University) is an assistant professor of Communication Studies at Kansas State University. Sean’s primary research interests exist at the intersections of organizational communication, new media, gender, and organizing. Wit

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Patrice Marie Buzzanell University of South Florida Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0058-7676

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Patrice M. Buzzanell is Distinguished University Professor and immediate past Chair of the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida and Endowed Visiting Professor for the School of Media and Design at Shanghai Jiaotong University. Fellow and Past President of the International Communication Association (ICA), she also is a Distinguished Scholar for the National Communication Association (NCA), Past President of the Council of Communication Associations, and Past President and Wise Woman of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender. She has received career achievement awards from ICA, NCA, the Central States Communication Association, and Purdue University where she was a Distinguished University Professor in communication and engineering education (by courtesy) and Endowed Chair and Director of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence. Her primary research areas are organizational communication, career, work-life, resilience, feminist/gender, and design. Her grants have focused on ethics, institutional transformation, and diversity-equity-inclusion-belongingness in the professional formation of engineers.

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David Torres Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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David is a fourth year doctoral candidate in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University pursuing a PhD in Organizational Communication with a minor in data analysis and research methodology. His research interests reside at the intersection of organizational communication, identity, design, and organizational ethics.

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Abstract

The lack of diversity and inclusion has been a major challenge affecting engineering programs all over the United States. This problem has been persistent over the years and has been difficult to address despite considerable amount of attention, enriched conversations, and money that has been put towards addressing it. One of the reasons behind this lack of diversity could be the presence of exclusionary behaviors, such as bias and discrimination that permeate the culture of engineering. To address this “wicked” problem, a deeper understanding of current culture and of potential change strategies toward integrating inclusion and diversity is necessary.

Our larger NSF funded research project seeks to achieve this understanding through design thinking. While design thinking has been documented to successfully achieve desired outcomes for numerous other problems, its effectiveness as a tool to understand and solve the “wicked problem” of transformation of disciplinary culture related to diversity and inclusion in engineering is not yet known. This Work-in-Progress paper will address the effectiveness of using a design thinking approach by answering the research question: How did stakeholder participants perceive the impact of design sessions on their understanding and value of diversity and inclusion in the professional formation of biomedical engineers?

To address this research question, our research team is coordinating six design sessions within each of two engineering schools: Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Biomedical Engineering (BME) at a large Midwest University. Currently, we have completed the initial phases of the design sessions in the BME school, and hence this paper focuses on insights from preliminary data analysis of BME Design sessions. BME design sessions were conducted with 15 key stakeholders from the program including students, faculty, staff and administrators. Each of the six design session was two hours long. The research team facilitated the inspiration and ideation phase of the design thinking process throughout. Facilitation involved providing prompts and activities to guide the stakeholders through the design thinking processes of problem identification, problem scoping, and prototype solution generation related to diversity and inclusion within the school culture.

A mixed-methods approach involving both qualitative and quantitative data analysis is being used to evaluate the efficacy of design thinking as a tool to address diversity and inclusion in professional formation of engineers. Artifacts such as journey maps, culture maps, and design notebooks generated by our stakeholders throughout the design sessions will be qualitatively analyzed to evaluate the role and effectiveness of design thinking in shaping a more diverse and inclusive culture within BME and, eventually ECE. Following the design sessions, participants were interviewed one-on-one to understand how their thoughts about diversity and inclusion in professional formation of biomedical engineers may have changed, and to gather participants’ self-assessment of the design process. Coupled with the interviews, an online survey was administered to assess the participants’ ranking of the solutions generated at the conclusion design sessions in terms of their novelty, importance and feasibility for implementation within their school. This Work-in-Progress paper will discuss relevant findings from initial quantitative analyses of the data collected from the post-design session surveys and is an interim report evaluating participants’ perceptions of the impact of these design sessions on their understanding of diversity and inclusion in professional formation of biomedical engineers.

Joshi, R., & Zoltowski, C. B., & Brightman, A. O., & Eddington, S., & Buzzanell, P. M., & Torres, D. (2018, June), Evaluating the Impact of Design Sessions on Participants’ Perceptions of Diversity and Inclusion in the Professional Formation of Biomedical Engineers Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30447

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