https://peer.asee.org/27918 Engineering has become a globally focused career with the need to work with people from diverse backgrounds. Researchers seeking to improve students’ teaming skills have found ways to assess team member effectiveness and development of teaming skills. Despite the emphasis on the importance of developing engineering students’ teaming skills, little research has been conducted on how students develop sensitivity for students from different cultures and backgrounds within teams in first-year engineering programs. Here we define diversity sensitivity as students’ multicultural openness and actions taken to incorporate diverse students. To address the lack of literature on diversity and teaming this work examines the following research questions: What changes occur in students’ diversity sensitivity, multicultural effectiveness, and engineering practices as a result of working in diverse teams? How do students’ perceptions of diversity, affect, and engineering practices change as a result of working on diverse teams? The focus of this paper is on the first phase of this three phase project, in which students’ multicultural openness, diversity sensitivity, and teaming effectiveness were measured quantitatively. Additionally, results from qualitative in-depth interviews further develop emerging trends in the quantitative portions of the work. Survey data were collected from participants enrolled in first semestermore »
Interpersonal Interactions that Foster Inclusion: Building Supports for Diversity in Engineering Teams
Teaming is a core part of engineering education, especially in the first and last years of engineering when project work is a prevalent focus. The literature on the effects of working in diverse teams is mixed. Negative findings include decreased affect, increased frustration, and sustained conflict in teams. Positive findings include increased productivity, production of high quality products, and divergent-thinking and idea generation. Given these mixed findings, it becomes important to not only understand the practical outputs of working in diverse teams, but also how the experience of working in diverse teams influences whether students see themselves as engineers and whether or not they feel they belong in engineering. Our project, Building Supports for Diversity through Engineering Teams, investigates how students’ attitudes towards diversity influence how students experience work in diverse teams through addressing two main research questions: 1) What changes occur in students’ diversity sensitivity, multicultural effectiveness, and engineering practices as a result of working in diverse teams? 2) How do students’ perceptions of diversity, affect, and engineering practices change because of working on diverse teams? Using a multi-method approach, we deployed survey instruments to determine changes in student’s attitudes about teaming, diversity sensitivity, and openness attitudes. We also observed more »
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Social Dialogue in the Engineering Classroom: The Effect of National Events on the Political and Social Attitudes of First-Year Engineering StudentsThis research paper focuses on the effect of recent national events on first-year engineering students’ attitudes about their political identity, social welfare, perspectives of diversity, and approaches to social situations. Engineering classrooms and cultures often focus on mastery of content and technical expertise with little prioritization given to integrating social issues into engineering. This depoliticization (i.e., the removal of social issues) in engineering removes the importance of issues related to including diverse individuals in engineering, working in diverse teams, and developing cultural sensitivity. This study resulted from the shift in the national discourse, during the 2016 presidential election, around diversity and identities in and out of the academy. We were collecting interview data as a part of a larger study on students attitudes about diversity in teams. Because these national events could affect students’ perceptions of our research topic, we changed a portion of our interviews to discuss national events in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) classrooms and how students viewed these events in relation to engineering. We interviewed first-year undergraduate students (n = 12) who indicated large differences of attitudes towards diverse individuals, experiences with diverse team members, and/or residing at the intersection of multiple diversity markers. Wemore »
This work-in-progress research paper describes the initial findings of research on students’ attitudes about diversity in first-year engineering teams. We used quantitative pre- and post-survey data and qualitative interviews with student teams to understand students’ initial attitudes about diversity and teaming and how those were affected by engineering teaming experiences over a semester. The qualitative and quantitative data analyses interact throughout the project’s iterations, with each informing the other. Here, we review the progress made through in-depth qualitative analysis when compared to survey data about changes in variance of students’ attitudes towards teaming. By using an iterative mixed methods approach, we are able to explore the subtle distinctions in students’ attitudes and experiences affecting diverse teaming experiences. In this paper, we will detail this iterative process and how it has produced more nuanced findings than a particular research paradigm alone.
https://peer.asee.org/28378 This research paper examines how four first-year engineering students interact with one another in teams to answer two research questions: 1) How do students experience working in diverse teams? and 2) Do their perceptions of diversity, affect, and engineering practice change as a result of working in diverse teams? Despite engineering's emphasis on developing students’ teaming skills, little research has been conducted on how students develop sensitivity to students from different cultures and backgrounds within diverse teams. We interviewed four students in a first-semester, first-year engineering team twice for a total of eight interviews to understand their experiences working in diverse teams. Each interview was analyzed using a modified form of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to understand the lived experience of each participant. In this paper, we present the results from the qualitative analysis of one team’s complete interviews as a first step in the larger research project.
Effects of High Impact Educational Practices on engineering and computer science student participation, persistence, and success at land grant universities: YEAR 2.Effects of High Impact Educational Practices on Engineering and Computer Science Student Participation, Persistence, and Success at Land Grant Universities: Award# RIEF-1927218 – Year 2 Abstract Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), this project aims to investigate and identify associations (if any) that exist between student participation in High Impact Educational Practices (HIP) and their educational outcomes in undergraduate engineering and computer science (E/CS) programs. To understand the effects of HIP participation among E/CS students from groups historically underrepresented and underserved in E/CS, this study takes place within the rural, public university context at two western land grant institutions (one of which is an Hispanic-serving institution). Conceptualizing diversity broadly, this study considers gender, race and ethnicity, and first-generation, transfer, and nontraditional student status to be facets of identity that contribute to the diversity of academic programs and the technical workforce. This sequential, explanatory, mixed-methods study is guided by the following research questions: 1. To what extent do E/CS students participate in HIP? 2. What relationships (if any) exist between E/CS student participation in HIP and their educational outcomes (i.e., persistence in major, academic performance, and graduation)? 3. How do contextual factors (e.g., institutional, programmatic, personal, social, financial, etc.) affectmore »