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Virtual Games for STEMM faculty to break the bias habit.

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: Dr. Mary (Molly) Carnes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is an ideal candidate for the Pathfinder Award. Her innovative research has already led to changes in practices that promote workforce diversity in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM). Implicit stereotype-based biases habitually - even if unintentionally - influence decision-making in ways that disadvantage individuals from groups underrepresented in STEMM. As a Pathfinder, Dr. Carnes will develop an interactive, experiential, case-based computer game that will teach faculty to recognize and self-correct implicit stereotype-based biases. This approach is based on the proven impact of game-based learning on attitudes, behaviors, and social interactions in several fields including medical education and counseling. This approach is also informed by research showing that organizational change depends on attitudinal and behavioral changes in members of the organization - in this case STEMM faculty. The potential for groundbreaking impact is supported by reports stating that the aggregate impact of implicit biases may constitute the greatest impediment to the full participation and advancement in STEMM of ethnic and racial minorities, people with disabilities, and women. While game-based learning is a clear departure from Dr. Carnes's past research, the proposed work shares the hallmarks of her previous endeavors: integrating multiple streams of research; involving multi- disciplinary collaborators; designing theoretically-informed, evidence-based interventions that can be rapidly translated into practice; and incorporating evaluation and modification in iterative, problem-solving cycles. The proposed research is highly innovative in that it approaches implicit stereotype-based bias in decision-making as a remediable habit, targets faculty who are the drivers of institutional change, and uses game-based learning strategies to design authentic experiences that can help faculty break the bias habit. With Dr. Carnes's past history of successful, high-impact research, she is ideally suited to utilize the Pathfinder Award to achieve new and important breakthroughs to increase STEMM workforce diversity.

Other Details

  • Affiliation: U of Wisconsin
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Funding Mechanism: Pathfinder
  • Keyword: base
  • Primary Investigator: Carnes Mary