This project will bring the experiences of diverse engineering students directly to faculty through edited audio interviews. Undergraduate engineering education is a critical juncture in the diversification of the engineering workforce. However, engineering educational culture can marginalize many groups. Faculty are key change agents in this culture, and their empathy and understanding for diverse students are critical for enabling and promoting inclusive education. However, faculty may not be aware of diverse student perspectives, and even well-intentioned faculty may fall short of creating inclusive classroom environments. More resources are needed to help develop faculty empathy and understanding for a broad range of student populations in engineering education. Qualitative research presents a promising tool for centering the voices and experiences of students, but researchers’ typical long form journal publications for disseminating qualitative research are not an accessible and compelling medium. To increase collective impact, more accessible, innovative, and timely dissemination strategies are needed. Podcasts and YouTube clips can be used to disseminate research findings with more immediacy and personalization than written text. This study will feature these audio formats as media to share diverse student experiences with faculty and to facilitate a broader impact on pedagogy and culture. Faculty who listen to the audio will have the potential to gain reflective awareness of student experiences that provoke the creation of more inclusive classrooms. This novel dissemination approach will be sustained through the creation of a widely distributed podcast called Audio for Inclusion, hosted by the PIs. This podcast will include the final versions of edited audio files generated in this study and will be located on the ASEE Diversity Committee’s web and YouTube pages, and incorporated into workshops.
The project will conduct a nationwide recruitment of students with salient minoritized identities via email distributed through relevant organizations, campus support centers, and snowball recruitment. Twenty (20) students will be interviewed twice throughout the duration of the study using a semi-structured protocol that focuses on their experiences in engineering education. Interviews will be transcribed, de-identified, edited for conciseness, and re-recorded by student actors. Recorded interviews will be disseminated using a survey distributed to 100 faculty members who represent a range of familiarity with diversity and inclusion topics. This survey will prompt faculty participants to listen to embedded student narratives and provide feedback using Likert-type and open-ended response questions. Survey results will be used to observe the impact of the audio resources on faculty views of diversity, equity, and inclusion in engineering. This project will be informed by existing theoretical frameworks such as intersectionality, figured worlds, narrative, and critical theorizing. Findings from this work will contribute to the knowledge base on broadening participation in engineering in three ways: (1) by providing insights into the experiences of students belonging to minoritized identity groups; (2) by developing an accessible resource for improving faculty knowledge of and strategies for promoting the inclusion of students’ undisclosed identities and experiences in engineering education; 3) by establishing a novel research approach to broaden participation in engineering; (4) by employing innovative dissemination techniques that expand the impact of student participant voices; and (5) by contributing to evidence-based foundations for the future development of faculty-centered support structures related to expanding concepts of diversity and inclusion.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.