July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
NSF Grantees Poster Session
This project seeks to expand access to and participation 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. Retention has been the dominant mode of studying student success in higher education. However, studying who matriculates and who graduates does not tell the 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, races, and genders. However, its value as a predictive tool has been limited due to the small number of institutions included.
We aim to expand MIDFIELD from 11 to about 100 institutions containing over 10 million students. The data will represent over 50% of the USA engineering undergraduate degrees awarded and increase the diversity of institutions in the dataset to 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 capacity to examine student characteristics (e.g. race/ethnicity/sex) and curricular pathways by institution and over time. Because the dataset contains records of all students, researchers can study students across all disciplines, not just engineering.
To complement the student record data, we also document academic policies as represented in university and college of engineering catalogs and websites. Policies documented include: academic progress in engineering, engineering admissions policies for first-year students and transfers, engineering degree progression, engineering matriculation model, financial aid, grading policies, and policies for students with disabilities. For each institution, we provide a policy summary and offer upon request an NVivo file with all of the coded catalogs for researcher analysis.
An important goal of this project is to expand access to MIDFIELD and ensure its sustainability as a research infrastructure. This requires transitioning MIDFIELD to a permanent archive. We are exploring having American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) as an archivist. There is an engineering focus to MIDFIELD, which only recruits institutional partners that have at least one ABET EAC-accredited engineering program, and partnering with ASEE acknowledges that disciplinary focus. Further, ASEE is well known among engineering program administrators, facilitating the recruitment new institutional partners. Finally, incorporating MIDFIELD into ASEE’s data infrastructure will enhance ASEE’s ability to generate reports at a more detailed level. Thus, by archiving MIDFIELD, ASEE will support its mission of informing and improving the engineering education system.
Due to the broad nature of the disciplines in 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.
Lord, S. M., & Ohland, M. W., & Orr, M. K., & Brawner, C. E., & Long, R. A., & Layton, R. A., & Ebrahiminejad, H. (2021, July), Expanding Access to and Participation in MIDFIELD (Year 5) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37127
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