WWC review of this study

Limited Support for Use of a Social-Belonging Intervention with First-Year Engineering Students

Weaver, J. P., DeCaro, M. S., & Ralston, P. A. (2020). Journal for STEM Education Research, 1-26.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    87
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: September 2022

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Academic achievement outcomes—Substantively important negative effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Exam Average (Intro Calculus)

Social Belonging vs. Other intervention

1 Semester

Intro Calculus Sample;
87 students

0.71

0.74

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Cumulative GPA

Social Belonging vs. Other intervention

1 Year

Engineering Analysis 1 Sample - majority groups;
218 students

3.10

2.95

No

--

Exam Average (Engineering Analysis 1)

Social Belonging vs. Other intervention

1 Semester

Engineering Analysis 1 Sample - majority groups;
219 students

0.74

0.72

No

--

Cumulative GPA

Social Belonging vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Engineering Analysis 1 Sample;
282 students

3.07

2.99

No

--

Exam Average (Engineering Analysis 1)

Social Belonging vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Engineering Analysis 1 Sample ;
284 students

72.90

71.76

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 20%
    Male: 80%

  • Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
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    • J
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    • M
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    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
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    • f
    • c
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    • j
    • k
    • l
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    • y

    Midwest
  • Race
    Other or unknown
    100%
  • Ethnicity
    Other or unknown    
    100%
  • Eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch
    Other or unknown    
    100%

Setting

The study took place at a large, urban, public university in the Midwest.

Study sample

The second study (Introductory Calculus) included a total of 34% underrepresented students, including 20% female, 10% Black, Hispanic, or Native American students, and 11% first-generation students. Because students could be in multiple categories, these components do not add to the total percent of underrepresented students.

Intervention Group

The intervention group received survey findings about juniors and seniors whose concerns about belonging with other groups decreased over time on campus. They also were shown a slide show with pictures and quotes from these students involved in various activities around the engineering campus. After reviewing the findings and slides, students were asked to write a personal letter to a future student about belonging. The intervention took place during week 2 of their first semester in college. The intervention was completed online, outside of class, and was expected to take 45-60 minutes.

Comparison Group

The comparison group participated in a parallel activity, but the survey results and slides were focused on study skills, rather than belonging. All other conditions were the same.

Support for implementation

Additional information is not available about the implementation of the Social Belonging intervention.

 

Your export should download shortly as a zip archive.

This download will include data files for study and findings review data and a data dictionary.

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