Asee peer logo

Examining the Effects of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Activities in First-Year Engineering Classes

Download Paper |

Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Wednesday Cornucopia (Educational Research)

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32782

Download Count

19

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Karen E. Rambo-Hernandez West Virginia University

visit author page

Karen E. Rambo-Hernandez is an associate professor at West Virginia University in the College of Education and Human Services in the department of Learning Sciences and Human Development. In her research, she is interested the assessment of student learning, particularly the assessment of academic growth, and evaluating the impact of curricular change.

visit author page

biography

Melissa Lynn Morris West Virginia University

visit author page

Melissa Morris is currently a Teaching Associate Professor for the Freshman Engineering Program, in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University (WVU). She graduated Summa cum Laude with a BSME in 2006, earned a MSME in 2008, and completed her doctorate in mechanical engineering in 2011, all from WVU. At WVU, she has previously served as the Undergraduate and Outreach Advisor for the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department and the Assistant Director of the Center for Building Energy Efficiency. She has previously taught courses such as Thermodynamics, Thermal Fluids Laboratory, and Guided Missiles Systems, as well as serving as a Senior Design Project Advisor for Mechanical Engineering Students. Her research interests include energy and thermodynamic related topics. Since 2007 she has been actively involved in recruiting and outreach for the Statler College, as part of this involvement Dr. Morris frequently makes presentations to groups of K-12 students, as well as perspective WVU students and their families.

Dr. Morris was selected as a Statler College Outstanding Teacher for 2012, the WVU Honors College John R. Williams Outstanding Teacher for 2012, and the 2012 Statler College Teacher of the Year.

visit author page

biography

Anne Marie Aramati Casper Colorado State University

visit author page

Dr. Aramati Casper is an education researcher and ecologist. She is currently a post doctoral fellow at Colorado State University doing research on diversity, inclusion, and social justice in undergraduate engineering classrooms.

visit author page

biography

Robin A. M. Hensel West Virginia University

visit author page

Robin A. M. Hensel, Ed.D., is the Assistant Dean for Freshman Experience in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University. While her doctorate is in Curriculum and Instruction, focusing on higher education teaching of STEM fields, she also holds B.S. and M.A. degrees in Mathematics. Dr. Hensel has over seven years of experience working in engineering teams and in project management and administration as a Mathematician and Computer Systems Analyst for the U. S. Department of Energy as well as more than 25 years of experience teaching mathematics, statistics, computer science, and freshman engineering courses in higher education institutions. Currently, she leads a team of faculty who are dedicated to providing first year engineering students with a high-quality, challenging, and engaging educational experience with the necessary advising, mentoring, and academic support to facilitate their transition to university life and to prepare them for success in their engineering discipline majors and future careers.

visit author page

biography

Jeremy Clinton Schwartz West Virginia University

visit author page

Jeremy C. Schwartz is a third-year Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) student at West Virginia University.

visit author page

biography

Rebecca A. Atadero Colorado State University

visit author page

Rebecca Atadero is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University, specializing in structural engineering. She conducts research on diversity, equity and inclusion in engineering education and on the inspection, management and renewal of existing structures.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

To effectively serve diverse populations and successfully work in diverse teams, engineers need to recognize the importance of diversity in engineering teams and should consider a wide variety of diverse populations. To accomplish these broad goals, a team of engineering faculty and education researchers designed multiple classroom based activities to highlight the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion in engineering. The purpose of this paper is to briefly describe the research-based activities that were integrated into a first-year engineering course at a large mid-Atlantic university and assess their impact on student appreciation for diversity in engineering and their likelihood for enacting inclusive behaviors on teams. A total of eight sections of students took four surveys throughout the semester and were taught by three instructors. Each instructor had an equal number of intervention (four sections, n =116) and comparison courses (four sections, n = 137).

The students in the intervention sections participated in multiple activities, including a talk from the dean to establish egalitarian norms, an implicit bias activity, an activity based on the campus read book that challenged assumptions, a panel of practicing engineers with the explicit purpose of describing effective diverse teams and solutions for diverse populations, and an interactive theatre sketch designed to illustrate problems with gender bias and engage the audience in attempting intervention behaviors.

Students (n intervention=116, n comparison= 137) took the Valuing Diversity and Enacting Inclusion in Engineering survey, which assesses four areas. Specifically, the survey asked for students to indicate their agreement with why engineers should value diversity in engineering to: (a) fulfill a greater purpose (n=4, r = .88) and (b) serve customers better (n = 4, r = .91), and whether the students would (c) challenge discriminatory behavior (n = 5, r = .93) and (d) promote a healthy team culture (n = 4, r = .87).

Data will be analyzed as repeated measures nested within individuals using HLM v. 7.03. The intervention variable will be entered at the student level along with effect codes for each instructor to remove variability due to instructor. Initial results indicate students in the intervention and comparison sections did not differ at the first time point across any of the subscales, but by the end of the semester, students in the intervention were statistically significantly higher in their likelihood to enact behaviors that promote a healthy team culture. Limitations, recommendations, and implications will be discussed.

Rambo-Hernandez, K. E., & Morris, M. L., & Casper, A. M. A., & Hensel, R. A. M., & Schwartz, J. C., & Atadero, R. A. (2019, June), Examining the Effects of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Activities in First-Year Engineering Classes Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32782

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: © 2019 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