Matching Items (3)

134500-Thumbnail Image.png

Developing Curriculum to Educate Engineers on Unconscious Bias

Description

Engineers spend several years studying intense technical details of the processes that shape our world, yet few are exposed to classes addressing social behaviors or issues. Engineering culture creates specific

Engineers spend several years studying intense technical details of the processes that shape our world, yet few are exposed to classes addressing social behaviors or issues. Engineering culture creates specific barriers to addressing social science issues, such as unconscious bias, within engineering classrooms. I developed a curriculum that uses optical illusions, Legos, and the instructor's vulnerability to tackle unconscious bias in a way that addresses the barriers in engineering culture that prevent engineers from learning social science issues. Unconscious bias has documented long-term negative impacts on success and personal development, even in engineering environments. Creating a module in engineering education that addresses unconscious bias with the aim of reducing the negative effects of bias would benefit developing engineers by improving product development and team diversity. Engineering culture fosters disengagement with social issues through three pillars: depoliticization, technical/social dualism, and meritocracy. The developed curriculum uses optical illusions and Legos as proxies to start discussions about unconscious bias. The proxies allow engineers to explore their own biases without running into one of the pillars of disengagement that limits the engineer's willingness to discuss social issues. The curriculum was implemented in the Fall of 2017 in an upper-division engineering classroom as a professional communication module. The module received qualitatively positive feedback from fellow instructors and students. The curriculum was only implemented once by the author, but future implementations should be done with a different instructor and using quantitative data to measure if the learning objectives were achieved. Appendix A of the paper contains a lesson plan of the module that could be implemented by other instructors.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

153826-Thumbnail Image.png

Thinking "outside the box: multiple methodologies for the study of home pregnancy test user experience

Description

Increasing numbers of biomedical products have become eligible for over-the-counter sale in contemporary American consumer culture. What was once the realm of the clinical has moved into the realm of

Increasing numbers of biomedical products have become eligible for over-the-counter sale in contemporary American consumer culture. What was once the realm of the clinical has moved into the realm of the domestic, with the consumer as the interpreter of health issues and communication. This dissertation examines the user experience with the marketing and design of packaging of home pregnancy tests. Studies indicate that more than one-third of women of reproductive age in the U.S. have used a home pregnancy test, yet the test is marketed to a specific demographic of user: one who is white, affluent, and married. How are users’ experiences affected, and how do different methodological frameworks yield results for the study of these user experiences?

In this project, I conduct a series of methodological case studies to show how each reveal various aspects of the user experience of home pregnancy testing. I begin with a case study of three brands of home pregnancy tests, using visual-material rhetorical analysis to uncover the cultural values implicit in packaging. I then move to two case studies involving the results of a National Institutes of Health survey of pregnancy test users. I employ a thematic analysis framework to analyze demographic information about users and to contextualize their narratives. I also conduct corpus linguistics and semantic network analysis with the same data set to model patterns in language. From these varying approaches, each with different underlying assumptions, nuanced aspects of the user experience with the product and its communication emerge. For example, the user’s life circumstances change from initial to subsequent pregnancy test purchase and use so as to suggest more desire for a positive result with subsequent testing, yet many users across these categories express some degree of discomfort when purchasing this product.

I conclude with suggestions based on this research for more ethically informed pregnancy test marketing, and outline avenues for future research for evaluation of home pregnancy test user experience. I finally discuss the implications of multiple methodological approaches for transdisciplinary humanities project design, implementation, and evaluation, with emphasis on the digital and medical humanities.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

156049-Thumbnail Image.png

Mixed-race heroines in early nineteenth-century literature: a look at Jane Austen and her contemporaries

Description

The purpose of this project is to analyze Jane Austen's unfinished novel Sanditon (1817) and its inclusion of a character of color. This thesis discusses Austen's mixed-race heiress, Miss Lambe,

The purpose of this project is to analyze Jane Austen's unfinished novel Sanditon (1817) and its inclusion of a character of color. This thesis discusses Austen's mixed-race heiress, Miss Lambe, in the context of two other pieces of fiction that feature mixed-race heroines--the anonymously published The Woman of Colour (1808) and Mary Ann Sullivan's Owen Castle (1816). Scholarship on Austen's awareness of the Abolitionist movement and her sympathy for its politics has previously been published. I advance our conversations on the subject by discussing Austen's Miss Lambe as a mixed-race heiress in the context of gender, race, and ethnicity in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century novels. My thesis considers literary and historical treatments of people of color and provides a trans-Atlantic approach to female characters identified as mixed race.

Juxtaposing Sanditon, The Woman of Colour, and Owen Castle provides insight into how Austen was working within a set of established literary traditions, while creating ways to disrupt some of its problematic elements. This project looks at conventions of the mixed-race female characters in five ways. To begin, I discuss the mixed-race heroine and the compulsion to define her place of origin. Second, I consider the convention of describing mixed-race heiresses' rights to their inheritance. An analysis of the significance of naming mixed-race heiresses follows. I discuss literary conventions of the betrayal of mixed-race females. Lastly, I explore the common use of black maid figures in novels of this era to advance social critique against prejudice. Comparative analysis of Austen with other novels featuring mixed-race heroines in this era allows us to reach new understandings of Sanditon. Austen's unfinished last novel is shown to question the power of fortune, to undermine the orthodoxy of categorizing race and ethnicity, and to unsettle the hierarchy among characters of different races and ethnicities.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017