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  1. This work-in-progress paper reports on the assessment of an intervention on team communication and decision making processes to see whether such an intervention is related to improvement in the rating of equity of idea contributions. A hierarchical linear model was fit to teamwork data from 3,721 students in 40 courses. We find that students’ reports of equitable idea sharing are actually lower after the intervention than before; we hypothesize that the decreased rating might reflect increased student awareness of inequities rather than a true decrease in equitable idea sharing. This pattern held for most gender and racial groups, with the notable exception of non-binary students, who instead reported greater idea equity post-intervention, though we note the small sample size for this group. Finally, we find that decreases in reported idea sharing were largest when students reported the intervention was “highly relevant” to their team yet “not very helpful”.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  2. Higher education literature is replete with evidence that socioeconomic variables and background characteristics inform a myriad of factors related to students’ college life. These include the institutions students choose to attend, their experiences after matriculation, differences in success rates, and even post-graduation outcomes. This is particularly true in engineering, where gaps in academic performance, persistence, and degree attainment still endure despite the litany of federal, institutional, and unit-level resources designed to address socioeconomic disparities. In contrast to much of the literature that takes a deficit-based approach, in this work we presuppose that it is not simply differences in socioeconomic variables and background characteristics that separates highly engaged, successful students in engineering from their less engaged, unsuccessful counterparts. Rather, we suggest that an underlying set of socialization processes by which students become familiar with collegiate engineering education makes students more or less likely to engage in activities that are associated with success. We posit that students’ experiences with these socialization processes – institutional socialization tactics and proactive behaviors – may better explain patterns of participation and outcomes in engineering that go beyond the consideration of access to academic and social resources. Drawing on Weidman’s Undergraduate Socialization framework, we developed a conceptualmore »model for understanding the socialization processes that inform engineering students’ participation in co-curricular activities (specifically professional engineering societies and student design teams). This model is guided by three hypotheses. First, we hypothesize that socioeconomic, academic, and demographic background characteristics combine to uniquely inform students’ experiences with two socialization processes – institutional tactics and proactive behaviors. This, in turn, informs their participation in co-curricular activities, such as professional engineering societies and student design teams. Finally, students who participate in co-curricular engineering activities have different academic and social outcomes than their counterparts who do not participate in co-curricular engineering activities. We also developed a survey instrument based on this model to understand how various socioeconomic variables and background characteristics inform students’ socialization processes and, as a result, their outcomes in engineering. Our goal is to understand the factors that shape students’ socialization into engineering, as well as their development into engineers. Ultimately, our goal is to narrow gaps in participation and success in engineering by addressing negative socialization experiences.« less