Resources

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Bringing Young Women into Computing Through the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Program

Article in CACM describing the obstacles girls face in entering computing and how the Aspirations program seeks to overcome those. Great overview of issues, the Aspirations program and ways individuals can get involved with the program.

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.

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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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How Do You Support Completion of Graduate Degrees and Engender Commitment to a Research Career? Advisor as Steward of the Discipline (Case Study 1)

How Do You Support Completion of Graduate Degrees and Engender Commitment to a Research Career? Advisor as Steward of the Discipline (Case Study 1)

Students most likely to complete their graduate studies are those who are viewed as junior colleagues in a positive relationship with their advisors and who are well integrated into their department’s or lab’s intellectual community. Where one woman graduate student finds support and guidance from her advisor, another is stifled by her advisor’s inconsistent and inappropriate behavior. Systems of accountability, together with trained and caring advisors, increase the chances that doctoral students will successfully navigate the path to research careers.

Gearing Up for Change

Gearing Up for Change: Institutional Reform in Undergraduate Computing Programs

Change agents must understand and consider their organization’s complex and interlocking systems. Plans for change must ensure that subsystems work in harmony with each other to reinforce the envisioned change. This resource outlines the prerequisites to transforming for diversity in undergraduate computing and explains NCWIT’s Extension Services for Undergraduate Programs (ES-UP). Members of the Academic Alliance are entitled to free services from the NCWIT ES-UP in support of their organizational change.

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