Underlying Principle: 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, a “programmer.” Anyone who doesn’t fit the stereotype may have difficulty seeing themselves in the field, and be less likely to have people supporting them in their pursuit of computing. Faculty can help by building student confidence, modeling inclusive behavior, and teaching students norms of professional behavior.


Engagement Practices

Give Effective Encouragement

Encouragement increases self-efficacy: the belief in one’s ability to successfully perform a task.

Offer Student-Centered Assessment

Student-centered Assessment helps students examine their own learning.

Mitigate Stereotype Threat

Stereotype threat occurs when we fear that our actions will confirm negative stereotypes about our “group.”

Provide Opportunities for Interaction with Faculty

Interacting with faculty and teaching assistants, both in and outside of the classroom, is a powerful way to give students encouragement, to impart tacit professional knowledge, and to help students begin to see themselves as computer scientists.
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