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Monday, May 11 • 2:05pm - 2:35pm
Eliminating Participation Gender Bias in a Large STEM Course

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The loss of students underrepresented in STEM between the first course and subsequent courses is a challenge to academic institutions and is thought to be due, in part, to a lack of identity with the discipline. This presentation describes a collaborative SEISMIC (http://bit.ly/SEISMICProject) research project wherein an anonymous backchannel is introduced in entry-level STEM courses to see if this leads to positive changes in student identity within the course discipline. 

The use of a backchannel in a STEM course has been shown to have a positive effect on the level of participation by female and first-generation students who, when surveyed, professed greater discomfort with verbal questioning. A longitudinal study showed that 97% of students felt that an anonymous backchannel should be offered in all entry-level STEM courses. The study also found that use of the backchannel changed students’ willingness to ask verbal questions in subsequent courses.
Expected Outcomes:
After this session, participants will be able to:
1) Report how the use of an anonymous backchannel affected student participation in a number of cohorts of students underrepresented in STEM disciplines.
2) Discuss the pros and cons of using an anonymous backchannel in entry-level STEM courses.
3) Participate in or promote the backchannel research at their own institutions
Let me know if you have any questions or other next steps!

avatar for Perry Samson

Perry Samson

Professor, University of Michigan
Perry Samson is Professor of Climate Science in the College of Engineering and Professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. Prof. Samson has been awarded an "Arthur F. Thurnau” Professorship for his contributions to undergraduate education and has been previously... Read More →

Monday May 11, 2020 2:05pm - 2:35pm PDT
Ballroom 3

Attendees (1)