Making sense of interdisciplinarity in challenge-based learning: A two-step co-creation approach towards educational redesign

Xin Ming*, Miles A.J. MacLeod, Jan van der Veen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Challenge-based learning gains popularity in engineering education for allowing students to transcend academic and disciplinary boundaries and to fully engage in real-world problems, but it is largely underexplored how to improve specific designs of such educational practices to promote interdisciplinary learning experiences and competencies. This paper describes two studies that together in two steps make up an evidence-based redesign of a challenged-based course featuring group-work projects in an undergraduate program combining engineering with liberal arts and sciences. A first study based on observation and interviews collects different and varying learning experiences throughout students' learning activities. The results showed that interdisciplinary experiences are constructed in complex dynamics between students' disciplinary identity formation and the interdisciplinary and collaborative course configuration. Such dynamics may result in positive learning experiences (engagement and interdisciplinary enrichment) as well as negative ones (disengagement and frustration). Especially regarding the discrepancy between common experiences across the three phases of tackling the challenge (mapping, mitigating, integrating), representatives of parties important for the course were invited to a roundtable session in a second study to discuss and reflect on the first study's findings and what they can mean for the course design. Understandings achieved in the session are used as input for upcoming course redesign towards a more desirably organized challenge-based learning. The two-step approach towards redesign is an example of involving researchers and students in evidence-based educational redesign, exemplifying the value of naturalistic research and educational co-creation in understanding and optimizing students' learning experience to achieve fruitful challenge-based learning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSEFI 2022 - 50th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationSEFI Proceedings
EditorsHannu-Matti Jarvinen, Santiago Silvestre, Ariadna Llorens, Balazs Vince Nagy
Place of PublicationBarcelona ES
PublisherSociete Europeenne pour la Formation des Ingenieurs (SEFI)
Pages1399-1407
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9788412322262
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event50th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, SEFI 2022 - Vertex Building (Campus Nord of the Technical University of Catalonia, UPC), Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 19 Sept 202222 Sept 2022
Conference number: 50
https://sefi2022.eu/

Conference

Conference50th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, SEFI 2022
Abbreviated titleSEFI 2022
Country/TerritorySpain
CityBarcelona
Period19/09/2222/09/22
Internet address

Keywords

  • challenge-based learning
  • co-creation
  • interdisciplinarity
  • learning experience
  • project-based learning

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