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Mapping Assets of Diverse Groups for Chemical Engineering Design Problem Framing Ability

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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

Instructional and Learning Assessment in Chemical Engineering

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

25

DOI

10.18260/p.25675

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/25675

Download Count

130

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Paper Authors

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Vanessa Svihla University of New Mexico Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4342-6178

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Dr. Svihla is an assistant professor of learning sciences at the University of New Mexico. She is particularly interested in how people find and frame problems, and how these activities relate to innovation and creativity. She applies a range of research methods to understand learning in real world, interdisciplinary and Computer-Supported Collaborative settings. She was selected as a 2014 National Academy of Education / Spencer Postdoctoral Scholar.

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Abhaya K. Datye University of New Mexico

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Abhaya Datye has been on the faculty at the University of New Mexico after receiving his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan in 1984. He is presently Chair of the department and Distinguished Regents Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering. From 1994-2014 he served as Director of the Center for Microengineered Materials, a strategic research center at UNM that reports to the Vice President for Research. He is also the founding director of the graduate interdisciplinary program in Nanoscience and Microsystems, the first program at UNM to span three schools and colleges and the Anderson Business School. He served as director of this program from 2007 – 2014. His research interests are in heterogeneous catalysis, materials characterization and nanomaterials synthesis. His research group has pioneered the development of electron microscopy tools for the study of catalysts.

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Jamie R Gomez University of New Mexico

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Jamie Gomez, Ph.D., is a Lecturer Title III in the department of Chemical & Biological Engineering (CBE) at the University of New Mexico. She is a co- Principal Investigator for the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Professional Formation of Engineers: Research Initiation in Engineering Formation (PFE: RIEF) for the project- Using Digital Badging and Design Challenge Modules to Develop Professional Identity. She is a member of the department’s ABET and Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, as well as faculty advisor for several student societies. She is the instructor of several courses in the CBE curriculum including the Material and Energy Balances, junior laboratories and Capstone Design courses. She is associated with several professional organizations including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and American Society of Chemical Engineering Education (ASEE) where she adopts and contributes to innovative pedagogical methods aimed at improving student learning and retention.

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Victor Law Program of Organization, Information, and Learning Sciences at University of New Mexico

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Dr. Victor Law is an Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico in the Program of Organization, Information, and Leaning Sciences. He received his PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. His research explores the social aspects of self-regulation in collaborative learning environments. In addition, he has been conducting studies examining the effects of different scaffolding approaches, including massively multiplayer online games, computer-based simulation, and dynamic modeling, on students’ complex problem-solving learning outcomes. Dr. Law has published empirical studies in national and international refereed journals such as Computers in Human Behaviors, Journal of Educational Computing Research, Journal of Educational Technology & Society, Technology, Instruction, Cognition, and Learning, and International Journal of Knowledge Management and E-Learning.

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Sophia Bowers University of New Mexico

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Sophia Bowers is a PhD candidate in the Organization, Information, & Learning Sciences at University of New Mexico. She is interested in understanding how individuals and organizations learn and apply knowledge in real settings; and in creating positive learning and work environments. She has a B.S. in Engineering, an M.BA., and has worked in industry for over 18 years.

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Abstract

Engineering programs across the US are engaged in efforts to increase the diversity of their student populations. Despite these efforts, students from groups underrepresented in engineering are still less likely to persist, relative to their peers. One approach taken is adding design earlier in programs, but faculty sometimes doubt that freshmen and sophomore students have the capacity to design. The students themselves may not realize they already possess skills and beliefs that are valuable for engineering design. We describe an approach to uncover potential and discover the attributes, skills, and beliefs that students hold. Students in the first two courses of a chemical engineering program at a Minority-Serving, Very High Research university (N=136) completed a survey and an assessment of their problem framing ability. We identified the following attributes, skills, and beliefs: women were significantly likelier than men to view design as a co-evolutionary process and first generation college attendees were significantly more likely to agree that design is a learning activity. Regression analysis revealed that students in the introductory course produced more expert problem framing if they viewed constraint as endemic to design. They also produced more expert problem framing if they rated their pre-college knowledge of and confidence in engineering lower. This suggests students need to learn early that constraint is endemic to design. Implications for instruction include communicating to students that the work of engineers involves framing problems and providing opportunities for them to develop these abilities. Identifying the strengths students bring could help faculty build on students’ existing strengths. We should not view limited prior experience and low confidence as a deficit.

Svihla, V., & Datye, A. K., & Gomez, J. R., & Law, V., & Bowers, S. (2016, June), Mapping Assets of Diverse Groups for Chemical Engineering Design Problem Framing Ability Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25675

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