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Work in Progress: A Framework for an Improv Intervention to Increase Psychological Safety and Sense of Belonging on Student Engineering Design Teams

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Design Methodologies 1

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/38116

Download Count

123

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Paper Authors

biography

Jenn Campbell University of Virginia

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Jenn Campbell is a Ph.D. Fellow in the Behavioral Science for Sustainable Systems program at the Convergent Behavioral Science Initiative at the University of Virginia. Jenn spent 9 years working in a variety of roles in engineering and marketing before beginning her doctoral program, and her time in industry spurred her interest in behavioral science and how we can help people make better decisions. Her research interests include designer behavior, especially as it relates to team dynamics and equity. Jenn received her Master’s in Engineering Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her B.S in Mechanical Engineering and B.A. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame.

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biography

Leidy Klotz University of Virginia

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Leidy Klotz is the Copenhaver Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Systems and Environment

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Abstract

Teamwork has been increasingly used in engineering education, and teams have the potential to impact sense of belonging for engineering students. However, there is limited research on how to cultivate team dynamics that build belongingness or inclusion in engineering education. Psychological safety has been shown to build inclusion on teams in the workplace, thus positively impacting team dynamics and potentially increasing sense of belonging. However, psychological safety is often overlooked in engineering education, perhaps because there is limited research on how to increase psychological safety.

This paper develops a framework for a 30-minute improv intervention to increase psychological safety and sense of belonging on student engineering design teams. We use Experiential Learning Theory and Social Cognitive Career Theory to assess the proposed intervention. We predict that the improv intervention will increase psychological safety and sense of belonging on the team and in engineering, which in turn will impact student expectations of success in the engineering and intent to remain in the field; this may lead to increased persistence in the field of engineering. This work has implications for creating positive engineering team dynamics, building more effective engineering teams, and increasing persistence in engineering, especially among groups traditionally underrepresented in the field.

Campbell, J., & Klotz, L. (2021, July), Work in Progress: A Framework for an Improv Intervention to Increase Psychological Safety and Sense of Belonging on Student Engineering Design Teams Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38116

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