Integrating Asset-based Practices into Engineering Design Instruction

Hannah Budinoff, Vignesh Subbian, Francesca A Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This work in progress paper presents asset mapping activities as a strategy to foster the development of engineering identities, sense of belonging, and engineering self-efficacy in a diverse student population and presents evidence on feasibility of this strategy. Asset-based approaches highlight and leverage students' diverse assets for teaching and learning in course activities. Students' assets or strengths may include community networks, language and communication skills, tinkering skills, and most importantly, their lived experiences. One asset-based pedagogical strategy is asset mapping, where students identify and categorize how their own experiences and backgrounds can provide them with useful skills and insights. Asset mapping has frequently been deployed in community development to help the general public recognize and build on existing resources and capabilities. However, less is known about deploying asset mapping in the engineering classroom. In this paper, we describe implementing asset mapping activities in a first-year engineering course at the University of Arizona, a large land-grant, Hispanic-serving institution. In our College of Engineering, approximately 20% of students identify as Hispanic/Latinx and 30% identify as female. We quantify changes in students' engineering identity, sense of belonging in engineering, and engineering self-efficacy over one semester for students who participated in asset mapping activities (n=31) and compare these changes to students in a control section of the same course (n=38). In our pilot deployment of asset maps, students tended to identify mostly technical skills (e.g., data analysis, prototyping) in their initial asset maps and in subsequent course activities related to asset development. Implementation lessons learned relating to teaming, discussions of implicit bias, and valuing diverse assets in design projects are also presented. These findings can help the engineering education community implement asset-based approaches such as asset mapping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Aug 23 2022
Event129th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Excellence Through Diversity, ASEE 2022 -
Duration: Aug 23 2022 → …


  • Asset based practices
  • community cultural wealth
  • engineering design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering

Cite this