Understanding characteristics of multidisciplinary collaboration using concept maps

Tejas Dhadphale, Jacqulyn Baughman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Integrating disciplinary thinking has become a critical component of higher education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Within STEM disciplines, students are introduced to a wide range of multidisciplinary projects, courses, and programmes. Multidisciplinary projects require students to collaborate with other students, educators and professionals from diverse academic and professional backgrounds. Working in teams can be challenging for students especially when they are seldom taught how to collaborate with other disciplines. The goal of the study is to understand students’ opinions on multidisciplinary collaboration. Students from engineering and design were asked to develop concept maps that illustrate aspects of successful multidisciplinary teamwork. Concept maps were scored by counting concepts, hierarchical levels and cross-links. Content analysis was conducted to qualitatively understand the key concepts and nature of relationship between the concepts. Characteristics of multidisciplinary teamwork were compared across disciplines. Communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, celebrating diversity and finding a common goal were identified as key determinants of successful multidisciplinary teams. The outcomes of the study have several implications for educators and institutions planning to develop or improve multidisciplinary projects, courses or programmes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2018
EditorsStephen Green, Lyndon Buck, Aran Dasan, Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Peter Childs, Ashley Hall
PublisherInstitution of Engineering Designers, The Design Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781912254026
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event20th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2018 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Sep 6 2018Sep 7 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2018

Conference

Conference20th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period9/6/189/7/18

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Institution of Engineering Designers The Design Society. All Rights Reserved.

Keywords

  • Concept maps
  • Design education
  • Engineering education

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