Resources

How Does the Physical Environment Affect Women's Entry and Persistence in Computing? Design Physical Space that Has Broad Appeal (Case Study 1)

How Does the Physical Environment Affect Women's Entry and Persistence in Computing? Design Physical Space that Has Broad Appeal (Case Study 1)

The décor of physical spaces conveys messages about the kinds of people who belong there and the kinds of activities that should be done there. Understanding this influence allows us to actively craft an environment that makes a broad range of people feel welcome in computing. 

How Does Engaging Curriculum Attract Students to Computing? Harvey Mudd College's Successful Systemic Approach (Case Study 2)

How Does Engaging Curriculum Attract Students to Computing? Harvey Mudd College's Successful Systemic Approach (Case Study 2)

Making curricula more relevant to students, introducing collaborative learning into the classroom, and tailoring courses to different student experience levels benefit female as well as male students. This case study focuses on the successful pre- and early-computing major redesign carried out at Harvey Mudd College. Student performance has held steady while skyrocketing women’s representation from consistently less than 20% all the way to 50% of the incoming computer science majors.

How Can REUs Help Retain Female Undergraduates? Faculty Perspectives (Case Study 1)

How Can REUs Help Retain Female Undergraduates? Faculty Perspectives (Case Study 1)

Undergraduates with positive research experiences feel more confident and motivated to enter graduate programs. To facilitate successful REUs, supportive faculty advisors or graduate mentors should clearly communicate goals to students and allow them to spend a large amount of time on research, increasing independence as the project progresses. Professors Scott McCrickard of Virginia Tech University and Margaret Burnett of Oregon State University treat their undergraduate researchers as members of their respective research teams.

How Do You Introduce Computing in an Engaging Way? Teaching Programming and Language Concepts Using LEGOs® (Case Study 4)

How Do You Introduce Computing in an Engaging Way? Teaching Programming and Language Concepts Using LEGOs® (Case Study 4)

Engage students not already drawn to computing by creating academic and social environments where these students feel like they belong. Students respond positively to solving real-life problems that draw on their existing knowledge and interests and that involve collaboration in hands-on projects. In this easy-to-implement classroom activity, individual LEGOS® bricks are used to express a special-purpose programming language, allowing students to kinetically approach concepts and skills in computing in a non-intimidating fashion.

Roadshow-in-a-Box: Capitalizing on Models for Outreach

Roadshow-in-a-Box: Capitalizing on Models for Outreach

Roadshow-in-a-Box is a complete set of resources developed for colleges and universities wanting to establish or enhance their roadshow outreach programs. It draws on the wisdom and practices of a variety of successful roadshow programs that focus on recruiting for diversity and put trained student presenters in a leading role. The Box includes program advice, templates, and sample materials to aid your efforts in every aspect of a sustainable roadshow program. Components include: Controlled Message, Support, Ongoing School Partnerships, Trained Student Presenters, Program Activities, and Evaluation and Tracking.

Communicating for Change: Persuade Colleagues to Get on Board

Communicating for Change: Persuade Colleagues to Get on Board

Changing the culture of an organization to one that promotes women’s participation in computing requires that members reach new understandings and act in new ways. Enlisting allies in this process requires persuasive communication. This resource provides guidance on the four distinct and necessary steps for the long-term process of effective persuasion.

How Can Reducing Unconscious Bias Increase Women's Success in IT? Avoiding Unintended Bias in Letters of Recommendation (Case Study 1)

How Can Reducing Unconscious Bias Increase Women's Success in IT? Avoiding Unintended Bias in Letters of Recommendation (Case Study 1)

Research shows that even individuals committed to equality harbor unconscious biases that impact everyday decisions and interactions. In the IT workplace, unconscious gender bias can mislead employers, both male and female, to make inaccurate judgments in hiring, performance reviews, and promotion. This case study highlights findings on the differences between letters of recommendation for women and men and gives practical ways to reduce bias when writing letters of recommendation.

America's Got Talent but Not Enough Is Going into Computer Science

America's Got Talent but Not Enough Is Going into Computer Science

CS Principles is a new Advanced Placement computing course in development by NSF and the College Board, designed to be engaging, inspiring, and rigorous. This resource provides the rationale for CS Principles and describes how to support its implementation.

RCWiC Box Cover

Regional Celebrations-in-a-Box: Connecting Communities of Technical Women

Regional Celebrations-in-a-Box contains resources for organizing small conferences designed to increase the participation, retention, and advancement of technical women. This program-in-a-box is a compilation of materials and practices from Regional Celebrations around the country that bring women together in supportive communities for professional growth. The box includes advice about planning and materials for program elements such as intentional role modeling, group and individual mentoring, networking, and ways to share accurate career information.

How Do You Retain Women through Collaborative Learning? Peer-Led Team Learning (Case Study 2)

How Do You Retain Women through Collaborative Learning? Peer-Led Team Learning (Case Study 2)

Collaborative learning can improve retention rates, critical thinking, appreciation of diversity, and development of social and professional skills. When implementing collaborative learning, match students roughly according to experience levels and make sure to give students opportunities to work together for both graded and un-graded assignments. Peer-led team learning in computer science allows students to work together with a classmate or more advanced peer directing group exercises and discussion. Courses that have utilized PLTL boast lower course drop rates and higher grades.

A practical model for achieving gender parity in undergraduate computing: Change the system, not the student.

This paper presents a systemic change model of undergraduate computing for accomplishing gender parity. Rather than view women as needing to be modified or repaired to fit the system, this model advocates changing the system to fit the needs of a wider range of students. Changing the system is a more sustainable approach to creating gender parity than providing extra support to students with less experience or background or students who are less likely to feel that people like themselves belong in computing.

Encouragement Practice - Case Study 3

How Can Encouragement Increase Persistence in Computing? One Professor’s Approach to Broadening Participation in Computing (Case Study 3)

Encouragement increases self-efficacy, which is the belief in one’s ability to successfully perform a task. Because we are more likely to engage in tasks that we believe we can perform successfully, encouragement may be especially useful for attracting women to male-stereotyped fields such as computing. The case study written by Gloria Townsend describes the impact she and her colleagues have had by making encouraging comments to women in their courses.

How Can REUs Help Retain Female Undergraduates? Affinity Research Groups (Case Study 2)

How Can REUs Help Retain Female Undergraduates? Affinity Research Groups (Case Study 2)

Undergraduates with positive research experiences feel more confident and motivated to enter graduate programs. To facilitate successful REUs, supportive faculty advisors or graduate mentors should clearly communicate goals to students and allow them to spend a large amount of time on research, increasing independence as the project progresses. The Affinity Research Group model (ARG) integrates student participation in research teams and a structured cooperative learning environment.

Gender and Computing Conference Papers

More than 40 years of data on authors of ACM conference papers describe women’s contribution to this important aspect of computing professional life. The data show that women’s authorship increased substantially over time, and that relative to their representation in the likely pool of ACM conference paper authors, women Ph.D.s were especially productive. Initial tests indicate that the increase in women’s share of papers was due in large part to the increase in number of women in the community of potential authors.

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NCWIT Tips: 8 Ways to Give Students More Effective Feedback Using a Growth Mindset

Effective feedback gives students information they actually use to increase their learning and improve their performance. It should employ a "growth mindset" that focuses on developing intelligence through effort, practice, and "wise feedback" that spurs additional effort.

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