Jasmine Batt

Florida International University

Lecture Information

GC 195C
2024-06-18 11:00:00


Computer science education researchers have highlighted a social justice issue in computer science: gender and racial disparities in computing degree attainment, particularly for women and racially minoritized students, including Black/African American, Hispanic/Latina, and American Indigenous women. Researchers have been exploring strategies to promote persistence for undergraduate female and racially minoritized female students pursuing computer science degrees. Two main approaches have emerged: (1) the investigation of students' personal traits or factors influencing persistence, and (2) the impact of institutional or classroom culture on student persistence, as ``chilly cultures" have consistently been noted as a barrier to participation. Improving the classroom experiences of female and minoritized students has recently been investigated as an institutional strategy to improve their engagement and persistence in computing. One classroom experience includes cues sent to students around innate ability known as mindset messages. Meanwhile, other individual constructs such as mindset beliefs, interest, and sense of belonging have been identified as barriers to engagement for female and racially minoritized students. This study holistically explores the role of mindset messages in the classroom and their impacts on student engagement within the context of these individual student beliefs. In this ethnographic study of a programming 1 course, four key themes were found through abductive thematic analysis of observational data, reflexivity journaling, the syllabus, and a voice memo. The findings demonstrated that that mindset messages were sent via grading policies, pedagogical practices, and through dialogue between students and the instructor within an undergraduate computing classroom. Additionally, mindset messages supported classroom norms such as speed and accuracy, winning competitions, blurting out answers, and correcting and interrupting, which helped construct definitions related to computing ability in the classroom. Mindset messages supported the construction of an ability hierarchy, encouraging participation only from those ``high" on the ability hierarchy. Finally, fixed mindset messages were not typically perceived by students, though they still hindered female and Black students' engagement, despite having high computing interest. The implications of this study emphasize that computing instructors work to send growth mindset messages equitably within their classrooms to promote the engagement of female and racially minoritized students.


Jasmine Batten (pronouns: she/her) is a computer science Ph.D. candidate and National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow, working in computer science education research in the Listening and Engaging with Alternative Research Narratives (LEARN-CS lab) under Dr. Monique Ross. Her current research interests include broadening participation for female and racially minoritized students in undergraduate computer science through computing classroom culture, including the improvement of pedagogical practices and "mindset messages" in computing. Before pursuing her Ph.D. program, Jasmine earned a bachelor's degree in computer science with honors in 2019 at FIU and worked under Dr. Monique Ross as an undergraduate research assistant in computer science education research. In 2019, she presented a poster presentation at the Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) and presented her Advanced Research and Creativity in Honors (ARCH) thesis at the Conference for Undergraduate Research at FIU (CURFIU) on gamification and computing identity development computer science education. As a Ph.D. student, Jasmine was awarded a graduate research assistantship under Dr. Monique Ross and subsequently awarded a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to fund her research on broadening participation as it relates to instructional practices and beliefs in computing. Jasmine has published multiple peer-reviewed articles in journals and conferences in the computer science and engineering education fields, including JCHE, ASEE, FIE, and SEE. Her conference paper at ASEE won 1st place in Best Student Presentation within the First-Year Programs Division in 2022. To contribute to the discipline, Jasmine has served as a moderator and judge at several conferences. In addition to her contributions to the body of knowledge in computer science education, Jasmine has served as a mentor and teacher to undergraduate within computer science education programs and several graduate students in her computer science community. She has helped facilitate several REU programs and workshops related to computing education research with the goal of broadening participation.