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Forget Diversity, Our Project is Due

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Monday Potpourri

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

19

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28378

Download Count

43

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Paper Authors

biography

Hector Enrique Rodriguez-Simmonds Purdue University - Engineering Education

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Raised in South Florida, born in Mexico. Half Colombian and half Mexican; proud MexiColombian. Héctor earned his MS in Computer Engineering and is currently pursuing a PhD in Engineering Education, both from Purdue University. His research interests are in investigating the experiences of LGBTQ+ students in engineering, tapping into critical methodologies and methods for conducting and analyzing research, and exploring embodied cognition.

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Nelson S. Pearson University of Nevada, Reno

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Nelson Pearson is an Ph.D. student at the University of Nevada, Reno. His research interest includes, social networks and the integration of diverse populations, engineering culture as well as engineering pedagogy. His education includes a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno.

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Jacqueline Ann Rohde Clemson University

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Jacqueline Rohde is a senior undergraduate student in Bioengineering at Clemson University. Her research in engineering education focuses on the development student identity and attitudes with respect to engineering. She is a member of the National Scholars Program, Clemson University’s most prestigious merit-based scholarship. She is also involved in efforts to include the Grand Challenges of Engineering into the general engineering curricula at Clemson University.

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Kyle Patrick Vealey West Chester University of Pennsylvania

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Kyle P. Vealey is an Assistant Professor of English at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include technical and professional communication, rhetoric of science, rhetorical theory, and public rhetoric.

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Adam Kirn University of Nevada, Reno

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Adam Kirn is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at University of Nevada, Reno. His research focuses on the interactions between engineering cultures, student motivation, and their learning experiences. His projects involve the study of student perceptions, beliefs and attitudes towards becoming engineers, their problem solving processes, and cultural fit. His education includes a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a M.S. in Bioengineering and Ph.D. in Engineering and Science Education from Clemson University.

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Allison Godwin Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0741-3356

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Allison Godwin, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Her research focuses what factors influence diverse students to choose engineering and stay in engineering through their careers and how different experiences within the practice and culture of engineering foster or hinder belongingness and identity development. Dr. Godwin graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D. in Engineering and Science Education. She is the recipient of a 2014 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Educational Research and Methods Division Apprentice Faculty Grant. She has also been recognized for the synergy of research and teaching as an invited participant of the 2016 National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium and 2016 New Faculty Fellow for the Frontiers in Engineering Education Annual Conference. She also was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow for her work on female empowerment in engineering which won the National Association for Research in Science Teaching 2015 Outstanding Doctoral Research Award.

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Abstract

This research paper examines how four first-year engineering students interact with one another in teams to answer two research questions: 1) How do students experience working in diverse teams? and 2) Do their perceptions of diversity, affect, and engineering practice change as a result of working in diverse teams? Despite engineering's emphasis on developing students’ teaming skills, little research has been conducted on how students develop sensitivity to students from different cultures and backgrounds within diverse teams. We interviewed four students in a first-semester, first-year engineering team twice for a total of eight interviews to understand their experiences working in diverse teams. Each interview was analyzed using a modified form of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to understand the lived experience of each participant. In this paper, we present the results from the qualitative analysis of one team’s complete interviews as a first step in the larger research project.

Results from this first-year engineering team show that in spite of explicit instruction and discussions about the importance of diversity, these students did not wholeheartedly value diversity in teaming activities. This team renegotiated and compromised their operationalization of what diversity meant in their engineering team. While based on individual values, this compromised understanding of diversity in engineering-teaming tasks led to inequitable experiences and lack of growth across the team. It limited the roles students took on during teaming activities, helped establish boundaries around communication in the team, and influenced the type of work teammates were trusted to take on and complete. Despite being from diverse parts of the world, having different experiences with and perceptions of diversity, this student team felt they were more homogeneous than different. Our work highlights the need for a deeper examination of the intricate complexity of teaming experiences during inquiry and design activities.

Rodriguez-Simmonds, H. E., & Pearson, N. S., & Rohde, J. A., & Vealey, K. P., & Kirn, A., & Godwin, A. (2017, June), Forget Diversity, Our Project is Due Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28378

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