Proven Inclusivity Practices for Engineering

Our Vision

Through our National Science Foundation project, PIPE: Proven Inclusivity Practices for Engineering (Grant No. 2021204), our vision is to develop and provide pragmatic, proven, and trusted practices for engineering faculty to foster inclusive classrooms. 

What we are doing

We are developing practices that are peer-tested, peer-recommended, and expert evaluated and focus on high-impact inclusive classroom practices that align with the arc of the course.  

Why we are doing it

As we face serious challenges in higher education from declining enrollment to public trust, creating an inclusive classroom can offer hope in our faltering times.  Research supports that more inclusive classrooms improve students' learning and academic performance, especially for under-represented minority (URM) students. Since higher education is experiencing declining enrollment, and persistence and completion rates are linked to enrollment, it behooves higher education to retain as many students as possible by creating environments and climates that foster belonging and inclusivity. 

Who is involved

This is a collaborative project between Pitt (Melissa Bilec (PI), April Dukes (Co-PI), and Jessica Vaden (graduate student)); Colorado School of Mines (Amy Landis (Co-PI), Amy Nave (Co-PI); Arizona State University (Kristen Parrish (Co-PI)). The team has strategically developed this project based on where we believe our respective engineering programs are situated in terms of diversity and inclusion. 

Our Approach

  1. Develop a menu of inclusive classroom practices and a decision matrix to support prioritization of practices.

  2. Recruit faculty; develop and pilot inclusive classroom learning communities

  3. Deploy inclusive classroom practices.

  4. Evaluate the effectiveness of the inclusive classroom practices based on student and faculty feedback and assessments 

  5. Refine and launch. Disseminate the inclusive classroom practices across three universities to our peers, other institutions and across diversity, equity, and inclusion networks. 

Our Progress

Developed a menu of inclusive classroom practices and a decision matrix to support prioritization of practices.

We thoroughly reviewed and curated inclusive classroom practices and ii) developed a decision matrix that collects data about practices to enable prioritization of the practices. Inclusive teaching practices were mined from both the peer-reviewed literature and from university teaching and learning center websites (e.g. from CIRTL or the University of Michigan Center for Research on Teaching and Learning). While there are an overwhelming number of inclusive classroom practices, we aimed to curate the descriptions/instructions, examples of implementation, and references/impact. 

*Please use our matrix in your classroom!