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How Can We Identify Teams at Risk of Marginalizing Minoritized Students, at Scale?

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Studies of Student Teams and Student Interactions

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors

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Darryl A. Dickerson Florida International University Orcid 16x16

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Stephanie Masta Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16


Matthew W. Ohland Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Matthew W. Ohland is Associate Head and the Dale and Suzi Gallagher of 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 for the best paper published in the Journal of Engineering Education in 2008, 2011, and 2019 and from the IEEE Transactions on Education in 2011 and 2015. Dr. Ohland is an ABET Program Evaluator for ASEE. He was the 2002–2006 President of Tau Beta Pi and is a Fellow of the ASEE, IEEE, and AAAS.

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Alice L. Pawley Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Alice Pawley (she, her, hers) is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Education and an affiliate faculty member in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, Environmental and Ecological Engineering, and the Purdue Climate Change Research Center at Purdue University. She was co-PI of Purdue’s ADVANCE program from 2008-2014, focusing on the underrepresentation of women in STEM faculty positions. She runs the Feminist Research in Engineering Education Group, whose diverse projects and group members are described at She was a National Academy of Engineering CASEE Fellow in 2007, received a CAREER award in 2010 and a PECASE award in 2012 for her project researching the stories of undergraduate engineering women and men of color and white women, and received the Denice Denton Emerging Leader award from the Anita Borg Institute in 2013. She has been author or co-author on papers receiving ASEE-ERM’s best paper award, the AAEE Best Paper Award, the Benjamin Dasher award, and co-authored the paper nominated by the ASEE Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for ASEE Best PIC Paper for 2018. More recently, she received her school’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring, the Award for Leadership, and a 2019 award from the College of Engineering as an Outstanding Faculty Mentor of Engineering Graduate Students. In 2020 she won the Sterling Olmsted Award from the Liberal Education/Engineering and Society Division of ASEE. She is president of Purdue’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (2020-22). She helped found, fund, and grow the PEER Collaborative, a peer mentoring group of early career and recently tenured faculty and research staff primarily evaluated based on their engineering education research productivity. She can be contacted by email at

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Teamwork is critical to engineering professional work. While some aspects of teaming with engineering students are well understood and implemented into instructional tools, tools for handling student teams dealing with implicit and explicit racism, sexism, and homophobia are infrequent. Instructors of large undergraduate courses need tools to help make team-level marginalization visible at the classroom level to interrupt discriminatory or marginalizing behavior amongst teammates, and to model allyship so teammates learn how to interrupt others’ marginalizing behavior when instructors are not around. This paper describes the broader project, and describes some early results, focused on an algorithm that can help identify teams engaging in marginalizing behaviors against minoritized students, whether minoritized by race, gender, nationality, LGBTQ identity, or other categorization schemes. We describe how the algorithm is proving useful to identify student teams to focus on for analysis to answer some of our research questions focused on how engineering undergraduate teams marginalize minoritized members, and illustrate one such analysis. We describe our continuing work on the broader project.

Dickerson, D. A., & Masta, S., & Ohland, M. W., & Pawley, A. L. (2021, July), How Can We Identify Teams at Risk of Marginalizing Minoritized Students, at Scale? Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37250

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