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Social-belonging Intervention in a Computer Science Systems Course

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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

Computing and Information Technology Division Technical Session 5

Tagged Division

Computing and Information Technology

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Paper Authors


Shanon Marie Reckinger University of Illinois at Chicago

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Shanon Reckinger is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder in August of 2011 and an MS degree in Computer Science Education at Stanford University. Her research interests include computational fluid dynamics, numerical methods, and computer science education.

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Chris Gregg Stanford University


Bryce E. Hughes Montana State University Bozeman Orcid 16x16

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Bryce E. Hughes is an Assistant Professor in Adult and Higher Education at Montana State University, and holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change from the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as an M.A. in Student Development Administration from Seattle University and a B.S. in General Engineering from Gonzaga University. His research interests include teaching and learning in engineering, STEM education policy, and diversity and equity in STEM.

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A brief social-belonging intervention was implemented in an upper level computer science (CS) course. This intervention uses storytelling to help improve a sense of belonging and establish the importance of persistence in the classroom. In previous experiments using this one-time intervention, there were significant results (Walton; Brady, 2017). Recent CS graduates were interviewed about their own struggles and failures in their computer science courses. These interviews were videotaped and edited to follow the storytelling pattern of a struggle, followed by an attribution, and concluding with redemption. Interviewees were selected to represent a diverse group of students including both dominant majority and under-represented minority populations. There were two groups of students, the first group took a systems course without seeing the storytelling videos and second group took a systems course where the storytelling videos were featured. There were approximately 390 computer science students enrolled over both semesters. Survey data was received from approximately 212 students which measured student’s perception of their own belonging to the field of CS. Additionally, students were asked to respond to mock scenarios, gathering data on their attitudes and beliefs on how much other students belong in CS. Results are presented that describe how the control and intervention groups responded to the questions about their own sense of belong, as well as their opinion about who belongs in CS.

Reckinger, S. M., & Gregg, C., & Hughes, B. E. (2021, July), Social-belonging Intervention in a Computer Science Systems Course Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37719

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