April 23, 2021
April 23, 2021
April 25, 2021
STEM departments in higher education still utilize a mostly individualistic and peer competitive framework, resulting in a ‘chilly climate’ for collectivist cultures that effectively encourage Latinx students to leave the discipline. Utilizing instructional methods congruent with collectivist cultural frameworks should create engagement and educative environments for students who have these existing cultural frameworks such as Latinos/as. The purpose of the study is to understand the methods utilized in the transition to virtual instruction during the pandemic that are most impactful to create higher engagement and achievement for Latinx students in environmental engineering courses.
This study tests this link between collectivist learning methods and student success by analyzing links between Latinx student achievement and their perceptions of their own learning with peer to peer based, non-competitive learning activities in environmental engineering undergraduate courses. The investigation is comprised of a study of (1) student grades and achievement on major assignments in Dr. Otero-Diaz’ three environmental engineering courses in Fall 2020 (virtual instruction), disaggregated by student ethnicity, gender, and first-generation status; and (2) the impact of the instructional changes on student’s perceived learning and engagement as evidenced by students’ responses to Canvas quizzes and CATME surveys conducted throughout Fall 2020. The student survey responses ask them to rate their level of engagement and learning on a series of collectivistic assignments such as in-class group work. The analysis will assess if high engagement in these collectivistic activities correlated with high student achievement in these assignments.
The study addresses the gap in the research between what instructors hope collectivistic assignments in STEM to do for students, and how STEM students perceive and experience these changes. In addition, by studying the responses and achievement of students by ethnicity, race, and other demographic information, this research will contribute to what these types of instructional changes can do for all students. The study focuses on three environmental engineering courses but will have results that could be potentially applied to other STEM courses.
Hypothesis: There should be no equity gap in the collectivistic assignments or final grades between Latinx students and their peers based on the implementation of several collectivistic instructional methods designed to increase Latinx students’ engagement in the course.
Research Question 1: How were collectivist assignments designed by the instructor experienced by students in their environmental engineering courses?
Research Question 2: How did student achievement on these assignments differ by ethnicity, gender, or first-generation status?
Otero-Diaz, M., & Salazar, M. (2021, April), Impact of MESH teaching strategies on Latinx and URM students’ self-reported engagement in online Environmental Engineering courses in a Hispanic Serving Institution Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Pacific Southwest Conference - "Pushing Past Pandemic Pedagogy: Learning from Disruption", Virtual. https://strategy.asee.org/38235
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