How Can Encouragement Increase Persistence in Computing?

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.

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Case Studies:

  • Encouragement Works in Academic Settings (Case Study 1) | Relevant Audiences: K-12 Education, Undergraduate, and Graduate

    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. Simple though encouragement is, fewer than half of the faculty members in the average computer science department in the United States say they do it. This case study shares examples of the role encouragement from teachers, faculty members, and advisors has played in students’ decisions to pursue and persist in computing.

  • Encouragement Is Effective in Work Settings (Case Study 2) | Relevant Audiences: Career

    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. Encouragement is a powerful tool for increasing employee confidence and engagement, but it seems to be underutilized in the workforce. The example in this case study illustrates the profound positive impact a simple encouraging conversation can have on a career.

  • One Professor’s Approach to Broadening Participation in Computing (Case Study 3) | Relevant Audiences: Undergraduate

    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.
Release Date: March 4, 2013
Short URL:www.ncwit.org/academicencouragement