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Engineering identity development is crucial for engineers’ professional performance, personal fulfillment, and organization’s success. Various factors including recognition by others, interest, and competence can affect the development of engineering identity. Participation in engineering-related activities, such as involvement in makerspaces, can lead to increases in engineering self-efficacy and can provide opportunities for students’ to be recognized as engineers, potentially promoting the development of their engineering identity. However, participation in makerspaces is not necessarily equal across all student groups, with the potential for white, man-dominated cultures of engineering to be replicated in makerspaces, preventing students from marginalized groups from feeling welcome or participating. Earning microcredentials and digital badges in makerspaces has the potential to encourage participation and provide a means for recognition. The goal of this two-year project (funded by NSF’s PFE: Research Initiation in Engineering Formation program) is to study engineering students’ engineering identity development and how makerspaces and digital badges can contribute to this development process. Towards this goal, we interviewed a diverse cohort of eight first-year engineering students at a large, land-grant, Hispanic-Serving Institution in the U.S. during the Fall 2022 semester. Students participated in two one-hour interviews at the start and end of the semester on topics including their making skills, experiences in the makerspace, participation level in groups, perceived recognition as engineers, and feeling of belongingness in the engineering community and makerspaces. This paper presents lessons-learned from the interview implementation process, including dealing with disruptions from the ongoing pandemic and traumatic campus events. We also present emerging themes from qualitative analysis of the interviews. We expect the implications of this work to guide instructors and administrators in developing more motivating and interactive engineering courses and makerspace experiences for diverse students.more » « less
To better support engineering students and to create an inclusive and welcoming educational context, it is necessary to reimagine instructional methods and approaches. In contrast to deficit educational models that focus on perceptions of what students lack, asset-based practices focus on how students’ lived experiences can be used to enrich and strengthen their educational experiences. There is a need to support faculty in adopting existing techniques or developing new techniques in undergraduate courses, as most existing literature related to asset-based practices is focused on K-12 settings. Engineering design courses provide an ideal context for asset-based practices because the design process requires a diverse set of knowledge, experiences, and skills. Guided by self-determination theory, an understanding of implicit bias and stereotype threat, and the large existing body of research on asset-based pedagogy, we seek to support engineering student outcomes by empowering faculty with tools and strategies to incorporate asset-based practices in their courses. We are engaged in a three-year project focused on assessing the impact of asset-based practices in engineering design courses a large, public, land-grant, Hispanic-serving institution in the southwestern United States, funded by the NSF IUSE:EDU program. Here, we will summarize the design and results from our professional development for faculty, including theoretical frameworks and evidence guiding our work. We share content from our professional development, summarizing learning objectives, presentation content, and activities. Additionally, we present comments shared by instructors related to our professional development, including common barriers to implementing educational innovations in their courses. Our work will provide insights to practitioners interested in promoting inclusive classroom practices in engineering education and researchers who are translating research to practice, especially through professional development.more » « less