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WIP: Using engineering discourse instruction to promote equitable and inclusive group work

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2020 First-Year Engineering Experience


East Lansing, Michigan

Publication Date

July 26, 2020

Start Date

July 26, 2020

End Date

July 28, 2020

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Briana M Bouchard Tufts University

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Briana M. Bouchard is a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University. She received her M.S. in Engineering Management and her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, both from Tufts University. Her research interests include post-secondary engineering education, conceptual understanding in engineering, and incorporating professional engineering practice into the undergraduate learning environment. Briana also works to support students as a staff member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University.

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Kristen B Wendell Tufts University

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Kristen Wendell is Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Adjunct Associate Professor of Education at Tufts University. Her research efforts at at the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach focus on supporting discourse and design practices during K-12, teacher education, and college-level engineering learning experiences, and increasing access to engineering in the elementary school experience, especially in under-resourced schools. In 2016 she was a recipient of the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

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Ethan E Danahy Tufts University

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Ethan Danahy is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department Computer Science at Tufts University outside of Boston MA, having received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science in 2000 and 2002, respectively, and a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering in 2007, all from Tufts. Additionally, he acts as the Engineering Research Program Director at the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO), where he manages educational technology development projects while researching innovative and interactive techniques for assisting teachers with performing engineering education and communicating robotics concepts to students spanning the K-12 through university age range.

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This work in progress paper describes a two-session instructional module on equitable engineering talk, which explicitly addressed the role of discourse in engineering practice as well as the importance of inclusive and equitable discourse in a first-year engineering course. In the module, students audio recorded themselves as they worked in small groups to plan an initial solution to an engineering design problem. After listening to their recorded discourse, they participated in scaffolded reflection about engineering group work interactions. The module provided students with the opportunity to assess and evaluate their own discussions for equity and inclusion as well as those of experienced engineers. Data were obtained in the form of student written work and post-intervention in-class video of student group interactions.

Bouchard, B. M., & Wendell, K. B., & Danahy, E. E. (2020, July), WIP: Using engineering discourse instruction to promote equitable and inclusive group work Paper presented at 2020 First-Year Engineering Experience, East Lansing, Michigan. 10.18260/1-2--35786

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