Engagement Practices are teaching practices that faculty can use to help broaden participation in computing. They are especially impactful in early courses when students are deciding whether to pursue a computing major.

build student confidence & professional identity

Computing has come to be associated with some fairly strong stereotypes about who is a "computer scientist," or more narrowly, who a "programmer." Someone who doesn’t fit that model may have difficulty seeing themselves in the field, and be less likely to have people who support them in their pursuit of computing. Faculty can help by building student confidence, modeling inclusive behavior, and teaching students norms of professional behavior.

Mitigate Stereotype Threat

Stereotype threat occurs when we fear our actions will confirm negative stereotypes about our “group,” and this can harm performance, motivation, and trust. Faculty can mitigate it by avoiding stereotypes and by giving effective encouragement.

Give Effective Encouragement

Providing effective encouragement can help students persist even in the face of difficult challenges. This can be especially effective for retaining women in male-stereotyped fields.

Offer Student-Centered Assessment

Faculty can encourage persistence by providing effective feedback and helping students to reflect on their performance. Effective feedback is timely, contextualized, and actionable.