Location

West Lafayette, Indiana

Abstract

The challenges involved in facing and solving the most pressing global problems of the 21st century will involve collaboration and critical engagement from multiple disciplines. Interdisciplinary education and the critical skills it can teach—innovation, team-based collaboration, and effective communication, among many others—are crucial to preparing current students for their futures as professional problem-solvers. We introduce an integrated pedagogical approach between three introductory courses at Purdue University: Design Thinking in Technology (Tech 120), English Composition (English 106), and Fundamentals of Speech Communication (Com 114). Instructors and administrators in all three of these programs are working together to reinforce the valuable and important connections between STEM and Humanities work. Along with an overview of the development and implementation of this integration, we present a summary of findings from our ongoing assessment of the program. The integration has the most beneficial effects on students’ sense of community, which in turn significantly impacts their performance on team projects. When STEM and Humanities instructors and faculty share goals and spend time innovating together, the potential benefits to students and to the future of engineering education overall are clear.

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Interdisciplinary Pedagogy, Integrated Curriculum, and Professional Development

West Lafayette, Indiana

The challenges involved in facing and solving the most pressing global problems of the 21st century will involve collaboration and critical engagement from multiple disciplines. Interdisciplinary education and the critical skills it can teach—innovation, team-based collaboration, and effective communication, among many others—are crucial to preparing current students for their futures as professional problem-solvers. We introduce an integrated pedagogical approach between three introductory courses at Purdue University: Design Thinking in Technology (Tech 120), English Composition (English 106), and Fundamentals of Speech Communication (Com 114). Instructors and administrators in all three of these programs are working together to reinforce the valuable and important connections between STEM and Humanities work. Along with an overview of the development and implementation of this integration, we present a summary of findings from our ongoing assessment of the program. The integration has the most beneficial effects on students’ sense of community, which in turn significantly impacts their performance on team projects. When STEM and Humanities instructors and faculty share goals and spend time innovating together, the potential benefits to students and to the future of engineering education overall are clear.