June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
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
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