Facilitating Multidisciplinary Teams In A Service Learning Environment

Gregory Bucks, William Oakes, Carla Zoltowski, Frank DeRego, Silvia Mah
2007 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
Today's engineers have to be able to work with colleagues of different backgrounds, both from different engineering fields as well as those from fields outside engineering. To better prepare graduates for this environment, universities and colleges are placing an ever increasing emphasis on interdisciplinary learning. The rise of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary engineering programs at many universities illustrates this trend. However, there are many obstacles to effectively functioning
more » ... tively functioning on multidisciplinary teams. Most disciplines have specific languages that may make collaboration difficult. Disciplines also tend to have unique methods or tools for designing that may be contradictory. The EPICS program at Purdue University is a servicelearning program that is highly multidisciplinary, and faces many of these issues. In an attempt to address these issues, the program has adopted several strategies. Those strategies, which are discussed in this paper, are the incorporation of multidisciplinary leadership in the use of advisors and teaching assistants from various disciplines, the use of inclusive language in the course outcomes, and the use of National Instruments LabVIEW to provide a common technical medium in which students can work.
doi:10.18260/1-2--2551 fatcat:wjica66yorh5rc5y7s43ruba2e