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Special Session: Answering How and Why Questions with Qualitative Research

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Conference

2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference

Location

Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 29, 2018

Start Date

April 29, 2018

End Date

May 2, 2018

Conference Session

Veterans Track - Technical Session I

Tagged Topic

Veterans

Page Count

41

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29576

Download Count

12

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Paper Authors

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Catherine E. Brawner Research Triangle Educational Consultants

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Catherine E. Brawner is President of Research Triangle Educational Consultants. She received her Ph.D.in Educational Research and Policy Analysis from NC State University in 1996. She also has an MBA from Indiana University (Bloomington) and a bachelor’s degree from Duke University. She specializes in
evaluation and research in engineering education, computer science education, teacher education, and technology education. Dr. Brawner is a founding member of Research Triangle Park Evaluators, an American Evaluation Association affiliate organization and is a member of the American Educational Research Association and American Evaluation Association, in addition to ASEE. Dr. Brawner is also an Extension Services Consultant for the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) and, in that role, advises computer science departments on diversifying their under-graduate student population. Dr. Brawner previously served as principal evaluator of the NSF-sponsored SUCCEED Coalition. She remains an active researcher with MIDFIELD, studying gender issues, transfers, student veterans, students of color, and matriculation models in engineering.

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Catherine Mobley Clemson University

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Catherine Mobley, Ph.D., is a Professor of Sociology at Clemson University. She has over 30 years experience in project and program evaluation and has worked for a variety of consulting firms, non-profit agencies, and government organizations, including the Rand Corporation, the American Association of Retired Persons, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Since 2004, she been a member of the NSF-funded MIDFIELD research project on engineering education; she has served as a Co-PI on three research projects, including one on transfer students and another on student veterans in engineering.

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Susan M. Lord University of San Diego

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Susan M. Lord received a B.S. from Cornell University and the M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. She is currently Professor and Chair of Electrical Engineering at the University of San Diego. Her teaching and research interests include electronics, optoelectronics, materials science, first year engineering courses, feminist and liberative pedagogies, engineering student persistence, and student autonomy. Her research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Lord is a fellow of the ASEE and IEEE and is active in the engineering education community including serving as General Co-Chair of the 2006 Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, on the FIE Steering Committee, and as President of the IEEE Education Society for 2009-2010. She is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Education. She and her coauthors were awarded the 2011 Wickenden Award for the best paper in the Journal of Engineering Education and the 2011 and 2015 Best Paper Awards for the IEEE Transactions on Education. In Spring 2012, Dr. Lord spent a sabbatical at Southeast University in Nanjing, China teaching and doing research.

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Michelle M. Camacho University of San Diego

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Michelle Madsen Camacho is Chair and Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of San Diego. She formerly held two postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California, San Diego, at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and in the Department of Ethnic Studies. Fluent in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, her research uses theories from interdisciplinary sources including cultural studies, critical race, gender and feminist theories. Central to her work are questions of culture, power and inequality. She is affiliated faculty with the Department of Ethnic Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Latin American Studies.

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Joyce B. Main Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Joyce B. Main is Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She holds a Ph.D. in Learning, Teaching, and Social Policy from Cornell University, and an Ed.M. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Abstract

Underrepresented groups in engineering education often feel isolated in undergraduate engineering programs, making it difficult for them to reach their full academic potential. Many engineering academic affairs offices provide services and programming to make students feel welcomed and promote conditions for success. Although these programs may benefit students, some students are unable or unwilling to participate. Similarly, faculty professional development efforts for producing a more inclusive learning environment often have uneven impacts.

Engineering Academic Affairs professionals often ask what makes their programs work and how they can positively impact students. Addressing these questions necessitates understanding the factors that undergird student success, and the individual student characteristics and histories that promote active engagement. This workshop will introduce innovative qualitative research methods that have been used successfully with student veterans in engineering (SVEs) to reveal their motivations, experiences, salient identities, and conditions that affect their success in engineering education.

The session aims to identify research questions that can be answered through qualitative methods, as well as demonstrate methods for eliciting narratives from students who may be reluctant to share their experiences. We provide examples of qualitative methods that have been used successfully to obtain stories from SVEs and demonstrate how qualitative research results can inform practice and policy pertaining to student success.

This 90-minute interactive session will describe recruiting, focus group, and interview techniques that provide a deeper understanding of the experiences of students in engineering education. Workshop leaders will model these techniques and participants will have opportunities to develop their own research questions and consider creative techniques to answer those questions.

Workshop Agenda • Introductory exercise, workshop overview and framing questions (15) • Focus group techniques and exercise (15) • Pair-share activity/discussion: Developing focus group research questions (15) • Interview techniques and identity circle exercise (15) • Pair-share activity/discussion: Developing interview research questions (25) • Conclusion/questions (5)

Brawner, C. E., & Mobley, C., & Lord, S. M., & Camacho, M. M., & Main, J. B. (2018, April), Special Session: Answering How and Why Questions with Qualitative Research Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/29576

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015