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Learning to Think About Socio-Technical Problems in an Interdisciplinary Context

Author: Loretta McKinniss
Event Date: November 5, 2009
Speaker: Caroline Baillie
Speaker Affiliation: University of West Australia, Perth
Time: 3:30-4:30pm
Location: FRNY B124


Engineering students need to develop the ability to solve problems together with people from different disciplinary perspectives. In this study we investigate how interdisciplinary learning might enhance students’ creativity, self-reflection and deep approaches to learning, as well as enable them to work on socio-technical problems. Students from a course entitled Development and Technology were interviewed and asked to reflect on their learning in the course. Interview data were transcribed reviewed and assessed using a adapted phenomenographic approach.
In this paper I will present some of the range of variation in perceptions of students around the issue of interdisciplinary learning. I will present this paper in a broader context of the implications for engineering students learning in relation to International Development and to the focus of my broader study with the Purdue EE Working Group on Engineering and Social Justice.
(Based on a paper by Chris Beeman and Caroline Baillie. Presented at REES 2007)