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How To Prevent Marginalization Of Underrepresented Student Population Members On Engineering Student Teams

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Preventing Marginalization of Underrepresented Students on Teams

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count

4

Page Numbers

11.700.1 - 11.700.4

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1380

Download Count

259

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Paper Authors

biography

Paige Smith University of Maryland-College Park

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PAIGE E. SMITH, Ph.D., Director of the Women in Engineering Program, A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland. Dr. Smith has received several grants in the area of team behavior and improving team environments for members of underrepresented student populations in engineering. She provides leadership in recruiting and retaining female engineering students for the college. Her current research focuses on engineering design teams and project management.

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Linda Schmidt University of Maryland-College Park

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Patricia F. Mead

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Stephanie Adams

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

How to Prevent Marginalization of Underrepresented Student Population Members on Engineering Student Teams

Abstract

The best engineering project teams encourage members to attempt tasks outside their academic comfort zone and support members to succeed. Faculty members must be able to identify problematic team interactions and mitigate their impact. This is especially critical when teams include members of underrepresented student populations in engineering. These groups include women, African Americans, Latinos/Latinas, and Native Americans. Members of these groups may already be challenged by lack of similar others among peers and faculty. This Workshop will present a panel of engineering faculty and program specialists who will present best practices on preventing marginalization. The workshop is intended to be an interactive experience with a lively and engaged group of attendees.

The Workshop

Engineering student project teams can be collaborative, interdependent, and supportive learning networks that inspire participants to perform at a level equal to or above their prior individual bests. Ideally, engineering project teams encourage members to attempt tasks outside their academic comfort zone and support students as they learn new concepts and skills. Sadly it has been observed that students who participated in contentious teams often failed to learn the engineering material due to their desire to disengage from the tension filled environment. Dominating team members who marginalize others and “slackers” who expect everyone else to work hard while they settle for the “group grade” also negatively impact student satisfaction with the team experience and the field of engineering.

Now that project teams are taking a central role in engineering classes, faculty members must be able to identify problematic team interactions and deal with them. This is especially critical when teams include members of underrepresented student populations in engineering. The underrepresented groups are women, African Americans, Latinos/Latinas, and Native Americans. Members of these groups may already be challenged by lack of similar others among peers and faculty.

This Workshop will consist of a panel of engineering faculty and program specialists who will present best practices on preventing marginalization from their own research and experience. Specific questions the panel will address include: • “What is the best way to assign members of underrepresented student populations to teams?” • “How can peer assessments be designed to recognize and value differences in contribution to team progress?” • “What are the warning signs of team conflict and when should the course instructor take an active role in conflict resolution?”

Smith, P., & Schmidt, L., & Mead, P. F., & Adams, S. (2006, June), How To Prevent Marginalization Of Underrepresented Student Population Members On Engineering Student Teams Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/1380

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