Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Proceedings of the American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Minorities in Engineering Division


Salt Lake City, UT

Publication Date


Award Number

NSF, Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC) 1653140


NSF, Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC)

First Page


Last Page



This work in progress paper describes the initial stages of a project which aims to characterize the mechanisms of hidden curriculum (HC) in engineering and identify methods for exploring this phenomenon. To effectively study the complex nature of HC, this work brings together researchers with a range of expertise (sociology, engineering education, engineering, statistics, policy analysis, curriculum and instruction) to develop a holistic approach to explore HC in engineering. This work describes the process of gathering input from this multidisciplinary team as well as the literature to develop a mixed-method instrument and model to explore the mechanisms behind HC in engineering, a new realm in engineering education. Early findings suggest that HC may require considerations of an individual’s motivation, self-efficacy, and self-advocacy. The paper also discusses the initial stages of a vignette design used to elicit participants’ responses and reactions to the presented scenes. The vignette scenes focus on HC elements present during classroom preparation and instruction in engineering. Preliminary work on these HC elements per scene are also discussed here.



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