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Expanding Access to and Participation in the Multiple Institution Database for Investigating Engineering Longitudinal Development

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session I

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

11

DOI

10.18260/p.26803

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26803

Download Count

56

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Paper Authors

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Matthew W. Ohland Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4052-1452

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Matthew W. Ohland is Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. He has degrees from Swarthmore College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Florida. His research on the longitudinal study of engineering students, team assignment, peer evaluation, and active and collaborative teaching methods has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Sloan Foundation and his team received Best Paper awards from the Journal of Engineering Education in 2008 and 2011 and from the IEEE Transactions on Education in 2011. Dr. Ohland is Chair of the IEEE Curriculum and Pedagogy Committee and an ABET Program Evaluator for ASEE. He was the 2002–2006 President of Tau Beta Pi and is a Fellow of the ASEE and IEEE.

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Russell Andrew Long Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Russell Long, M.Ed. is Director of Project Assessment at the Purdue University School of Engineering Education and Managing Director of The Multiple-Institution Database for Investigating Engineering Longitudinal Development (MIDFIELD). He has extensive experience in performance funding, large data set analysis, program review, assessment and student services in higher education. One of his greatest strengths lies in analyzing data related to student learning outcomes and, therefore, to improving institutional effectiveness. His work with MIDFIELD includes research on obstacles students face that interfere with degree completion and, as well, how institutional policies affect degree programs. His group’s work on transfer students, grade inflation, and issues faced across gender and ethnicity have caused institutions to change policies so that they may improve. Awards and publications may be found at https://engineering.purdue.edu/people/russell.a.long.1.

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Susan M Lord University of San Diego

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Susan M. Lord received a B.S. from Cornell University and the M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. She is currently Professor and Chair of Electrical Engineering at the University of San Diego. Her teaching and research interests include electronics, optoelectronics, materials science, first year engineering courses, feminist and liberative pedagogies, engineering student persistence, and student autonomy. Her research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Lord is a fellow of the ASEE and IEEE and is active in the engineering education community including serving as General Co-Chair of the 2006 Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, on the FIE Steering Committee, and as President of the IEEE Education Society for 2009-2010. She is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Education. She and her coauthors were awarded the 2011 Wickenden Award for the best paper in the Journal of Engineering Education and the 2011 Best Paper Award for the IEEE Transactions on Education. In Spring 2012, Dr. Lord spent a sabbatical at Southeast University in Nanjing, China teaching and doing research.

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Marisa K. Orr Louisiana Tech University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5944-5846

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Dr. Orr is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Associate Director of the Integrated STEM Education Research Center (ISERC) at Louisiana Tech University. She completed her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, as well as a Certificate of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University. Her research interests include student persistence and pathways in engineering, gender equity, diversity, and academic policy.

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Catherine E. Brawner Research Triangle Educational Consultants

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Catherine E. Brawner is President of Research Triangle Educational Consultants. She received her Ph.D.in Educational Research and Policy Analysis from NC State University in 1996. She also has an MBA from Indiana University (Bloomington) and a bachelor’s degree from Duke University. She specializes in
evaluation and research in engineering education, computer science education, teacher education, and technology education. Dr. Brawner is a founding member and former treasurer of Research Triangle Park Evaluators, an American Evaluation Association affiliate organization and is a member of the Amer-
ican Educational Research Association and American Evaluation Association, in addition to ASEE. Dr. Brawner is also an Extension Services Consultant for the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) and, in that role, advises computer science departments on diversifying their under-graduate student population. Dr. Brawner previously served as principal evaluator of the NSF-sponsored SUCCEED Coalition. She remains an active researcher with MIDFIELD, studying gender issues, transfers, and matriculation models in engineering.

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Abstract

Retention and graduation are the dominant metrics in studying student success in engineering education and in higher education in general, yet available national datasets do not facilitate establishing national retention/graduation benchmarks. A national, longitudinal, engineering student unit-record database would make it possible to calculate retention and other metrics consistently. This would permit benchmarking, support peer comparisons, and the use of new metrics backed by community support. Sharing longitudinal student record data is critical to addressing important questions being asked of higher education. The Multiple-Institution Database for Investigating Engineering Longitudinal Development (MIDFIELD) is a multi-institution, longitudinal, student record level dataset that is used to answer many research questions about how students maneuver through required engineering curricula and what obstacles stand in their way toward graduation. MIDFIELD comprises whole population unit-record data for undergraduate, degree-seeking students—including students who matriculate in engineering, those who migrate into engineering from other majors, students who come to engineering as transfer students, part-time engineering students, and students who have never enrolled in engineering. This results in a dataset that currently comprises 20 years of data that includes 1,014,887 unique undergraduate, degree-seeking students. Of those, 210,725 were ever enrolled in engineering. While the original database contains only 11 institutions, the plan for MIDFIELD has always been to expand to include all public institutions in the United States that offer undergraduate programs in engineering. MIDFIELD is growing and has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF Award # 1545667, $4,010,978.00, 03/01/16 to 02/28/2021) to initially increase the number of partner institutions to 103. Students in the expanded MIDFIELD will comprise over half of the undergraduate engineering degrees awarded at U.S. public institutions and approximately two-thirds of the U.S. undergraduate engineering student population in any given year during the past 25 years. The expanded MIDFIELD will contain unit record data for almost 10 million individual students. The expanded MIDFIELD will also contain minority serving institutions, and institutions from a broad range of research classifications. The process of designing, compiling, maintaining, protecting, and sharing a large dataset like MIDFIELD provides valuable insight for others. This paper will discuss: • The strategic selection of new institutions • data collection and archiving processes • data security • student and institutional confidentiality • benefits to institutional partners • the MIDFIELD Institute

The expanded MIDFIELD will be an essential tool for institutional researchers to study students on the local, regional, or national level. Broader access to MIDFIELD data through a data archive will leverage the investment in its infrastructure and increase the diversity and pace of research using the database. Expanding access to MIDFIELD should result in the development of a research community that shares best practices for using this data, leading to methodological advances as well. Adding new institutional partners will enhance the generalizability of this research and allowing a larger community of researchers to access this resource will result in a dramatic increase in high-quality research.

Ohland, M. W., & Long, R. A., & Lord, S. M., & Orr, M. K., & Brawner, C. E. (2016, June), Expanding Access to and Participation in the Multiple Institution Database for Investigating Engineering Longitudinal Development Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26803

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