Research Publications

August 23, 2022

MIDFIELD: A Resource for Longitudinal Student Record Research

This work provides evidence of various approaches to studying longitudinal student unit record data in undergraduate education in the USA and the outcomes that can be realized using a large multi-institutional longitudinal dataset, Multiple-Institution Database for Investigating Longitudinal Development (MIDFIELD).
August 22, 2022

Trends in the underrepresentation of women of color faculty in engineering (2005–2018)

Women of color (WoC) continue to be underrepresented in engineering programs across the United States. Many scholarly reports on faculty demographic characteristics do not provide measures regarding the representation of WoC faculty due to data reporting restrictions or lack of relevant data. Using 14 years of data from the American Society for Engineering Education, this study examined the trends in the prevalence of WoC faculty and PhDs in engineering between 2005 and 2018. Informed by intersectionality theory and Kanter’s theory of proportions, descriptive analyses were used to disaggregate the prevalence of engineering faculty by gender, race/ethnicity, and engineering discipline.
August 8, 2022

Family formation and the career trajectories of women engineering PhDs

The underrepresentation of women in engineering has important consequences for meeting the need for a larger, talented scientific and technological labor force. Increasing the proportion of women faculty in engineering will help increase the persistence probabilities of women undergraduate and graduate students in engineering, as well as contribute to the range and diversity of ideas toward innovations and solutions to the greatest engineering challenges. This study aims to examine the association among gender, family formation and post-PhD employment patterns of a cohort of engineering doctorates.
June 20, 2022

A qualitative study of emotions experienced by first-year engineering students during programming tasks, ACM Transactions on Computing Education

In introductory computer programming courses, students experience a range of emotions. Students often experience anxiety and frustration when they encounter difficulties in writing programs. Continued frustration can discourage students from pursuing engineering and computing careers. Although prior research has shown how emotions affect students’ motivation and learning, little is known about students’ emotions in programming courses. In this qualitative study of first-year engineering students taking an introductory programming course, we examined the emotions that these students experienced during programming tasks and the reasons for experiencing those emotions.
March 18, 2022

Assessing learning processes rather than outcomes: using critical incidents to explore student learning abroad

There is an increasing emphasis on assessing student learning outcomes from study abroad experiences, but this assessment often focuses on a limited range of outcomes and assessment methods. We argue for shifting to assessing student learning processes in study abroad and present the critical incident technique as one approach to achieve this goal. We demonstrate this approach in interviews with 79 students across a range of global engineering programs, through which we identified 173 incidents which were analyzed to identify common themes. This analysis revealed that students described a wide range of experiences and outcomes from their time abroad. Students’ experiences were messy and complex, making them challenging to understand through typical assessment approaches. Our findings emphasize the importance of using a range of assessment approaches and suggest that exploring students’ learning processes in addition to learning outcomes could provide new insights to inform the design of study abroad programs.
February 2, 2022

Using transformative learning theory to explore student points of view in a second-year mechanical engineering design course: A collaborative action research approach

The goal of this work was to explore ways, within an existing engineering curriculum, to address the culture of disengagement by challenging the dominant engineering mindset. We conducted Collaborative Action Research to explore the implementation of Transformative Learning pedagogies in a Human-Centered Design context to understand how students make meaning of engineering contexts that involve unique sociotechnical considerations. Findings suggest that introducing students to such contexts allows them to use other points of view which can challenge the dominant engineering mindset and promote openness to the social nature of engineering, resulting in a more informed understanding of the nature of engineering overall.
January 8, 2022

Localized Engineering in Displacement: An Alternative Model for Out-of-School Youth and Refugee Students to Engineer their own Solutions for their own Communities.

Displaced learners, uprooted because of conflict, poverty, or other major traumas, are often shut out of opportunities to learn engineering. At the same time, fragile contexts demand engineers’ expertise, but experts and their engineered solutions are often called in from outside the community. In this article, we examine engineering learning as a vehicle for development in displaced communities by expanding the representation of engineers to explicitly include refugees and formerly homeless youth. We describe an alternative, co-created approach to providing authentic engineering learning through a framework called Localized Engineering in Displacement.
December 1, 2021

The role of the teaching assistant: Female role models in the classroom

We use a dataset of first-year engineering students from a selective research-intensive public university to examine the impact of same-gender teaching assistants on course grades and major field choice. Our sample consists of students who were randomly assigned to a section of an introductory engineering course and a graduate teaching assistant. Results suggest there may be small positive effects on course grades and the probability of majoring in a high-earning field for female students assigned to a female teaching assistant.
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