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Портал Begell Электронная Бибилиотека e-Книги Журналы Справочники и Сборники статей Коллекции
Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Печать: 1072-8325
ISSN Онлайн: 1940-431X

Выпуски:
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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2014007317
pages 211-234

EPISTEMIC PERSISTENCE: A SIMULATION-BASED APPROACH TO INCREASING PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN ENGINEERING

Golnaz Arastoopour
Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1025 W. Johnson Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA
Naomi C. Chesler
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1550 Engineering Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA
David Williamson Shaffer
Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1025 W. Johnson Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA

Краткое описание

Educational institutions have historically struggled with retaining women in engineering. A significant drop occurs in the first year of undergraduate studies. In response, some universities have modified first-year curricula to include more teamwork and collaboration. Using epistemic frame theory, we hypothesize that more women would remain in the field if they had authentic experiences of the engineering profession early in their undergraduate career. To test this hypothesis, we designed and implemented an epistemic game, Nephrotex, in which students engage in authentic engineering design in teams. We collected two sources of data from students in Nephrotex (experimental condition): (1) students' pre- and post-survey responses about attitudes toward engineering and (2) students' online discourse. We collected pre- and post-surveys from the comparison group (control condition), students who participated in a non-design-based introductory engineering course in which they researched global engineering problems and solutions in teams. We conducted a principal components analysis on the survey data and an epistemic network analysis on the discourse data. Our controlled study suggests that (1) women in the experimental condition had a greater increase in confidence in and commitment to engineering than women in the control condition, and (2) students in the experimental condition who focused mostly on engineering design instead of collaboration were more committed to engineering. While the sample sizes are not large for this experiment and the gender distribution is not equal between groups (experimental, 63 female 75 male; control, 35 female 95 male), our results suggest that an authentic engineering simulation can increase women's motivation to persist in engineering. Interestingly, this was not the finding for men. Of the male and female students who participated in Nephrotex, those who focused on engineering design talk in collaborative discussions reported that they were more committed and confident afterward, suggesting that design is a motivating element in authentic engineering simulations for both men and women.