Mixed-Reality Simulations to Build Capacity for Advocating for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Geosciences

Jason A. Chen, William & Mary
M. Shane Tutwiler, University of Rhode Island
Jerlando F. L. Jackson, University of Wisconsin-Madison


We report on data collected at 3 time points during a 1-year intervention designed to teach a purposive sample of geoscience faculty members (n = 29) from 27 universities throughout the United States howto identify and address issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in their departments. For the intervention we used mixed-reality simulations to help participants practice specific skills to address common situations in geoscience departments. The intervention also included an intensive 3-dayworkshop and 3 journal clubs. Using a Bayesian analytical approach we explored: (a) general trends in participants’ self- and collective efficacy for identifying and addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion over a 1-year period; (b) relationships between self-efficacy and collective efficacy; and (c) demographic factors that explain variation in self- and collective efficacy. Results showed that self- and collective efficacy rose sharply from preintervention to 5 months after beginning. Although both self- and collective efficacy retreated toward baseline at the 1-year mark, only 1-year self-efficacy was still credibly higher than preintervention. Also, preintervention self-efficacy predicted 5-month collective efficacy. Efficacy beliefs varied as a function of race/ethnicity. Only collective efficacy varied as a function of academic rank. We discuss these findings in relation to social–cognitive theory and the literature regarding the use of digital learning environments to address diversity, equity, and inclusion.