Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
NSF Grantees Poster Session
This project seeks to expand the number of institutions participating in The Multiple-Institution Database for Investigating Longitudinal Development (MIDFIELD). MIDFIELD is a resource enabling the study of students that includes longitudinal, whole population data for multiple institutions. Retention has been the dominant mode of studying student success in engineering and higher education in general. However, studying who matriculates and who graduates does not tell the complete story of a student's path through the engineering curriculum nor should it be used as a measure of an institution. A national, longitudinal student unit-record database enables the study of engineering programs using consistent benchmarks and metrics. MIDFIELD has been used in high impact research on student matriculation patterns disaggregated across various engineering disciplines, ethnicities, and genders. However, its value as a predictive tool has been limited due to the small number of institutions included.
This project aims to expand MIDFIELD database from 11 to about 100 institutions containing over 10 million students. More specifically the data will represent over 50% of the U.S. engineering undergraduate degrees awarded and increase the diversity of institutions in the dataset. MIDFIELD will include public and private institutions, minority serving institutions, and institutions from a range of research classifications. The scope of MIDFIELD will enable significant improvements in research in higher education. It will enable the development of research capacity to examine student characteristics (race/ethnicity/gender/social class) and curricular pathways (including coursework) by institution and over time. Because the dataset contains records of all students matriculating over a period of time, researchers can study students across all disciplines, not just engineering.
As of October 10, 2019, we have secured participation agreements from 27 institutions in addition to the original 11, bringing the total number of institutions in MIDFIELD to 38. Thirty-one other institutions are in the process of signing agreements. In addition to collecting student record information, we are compiling academic policy information for each partner institution.
Another important aspect of this project is educating the broader research community, expanding the network of researchers capable of conducting this research, and sharing of innovative research methods in addition to the actual data. Thus, during this last year, we held workshops at engineering education conferences and the inaugural MIDFIELD institute in June 2019. The MIDFIELD Institute brought together about twenty researchers from across the USA to examine effective data displays and gain experience working with midfieldr, an R package designed to facilitate accessing and analyzing MIDFIELD data. For these workshops and the Institute, we have created the midfielddata practice data set—a stratified sample of data from MIDFIELD.
Due to the broad nature of the disciplines represented by MIDFIELD, this project has cross-Directorate support from the Directorates of Engineering, Math and Physical Sciences (MPS), and Education and Human Resources (EHR) as well as the Office of Integrative Activities (OIA). Within the MPS Directorate, this work is supported by Astronomy, and Physics; within EHR, this work is supported by the EHR Core Research (ECR) program.
Ohland, M. W., & Lord, S. M., & Layton, R. A., & Orr, M. K., & Brawner, C. E., & Long, R. A., & EbrahimNejad, H., & Al Yagoub, H. A. (2020, June), Expanding Access to and Participation in Midfield (Year 4) Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34624
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