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    Interdisciplinary Communication Skills - Facilitating Students from Different Disciplines to Learn with, from and about each other

    Lawlor, Bob and Farrell, Alison and Jordan, Anne and Strawbridge, Judith and Brabazon, Dermot and Casey, Kevin and Coughlan, Ann (2014) Interdisciplinary Communication Skills - Facilitating Students from Different Disciplines to Learn with, from and about each other. In: 5th International Symposium for Engineering Education, 11 September 2014, University of Manchester.

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    Our group project involves exploring interdisciplinary communication skills and collaborative learning across STEM disciplines. In order to examine the topic we completed a literature review and surveyed staff about their views on interdisciplinary communication and collaborative learning at undergraduate level. We also held two focus group sessions on the topic with staff from three institutions. Though one of our intended project outcomes was a design model for interdisciplinary approaches to communication skills, as a result of the literature review we have redefined our purposes and will instead, in the first instance, present guiding principles for the effective integration of interdisciplinary communication skills training into existing and future programmes. In this paper we outline the first draft of these principles which recognise interdisciplinary collaboration as a pedagogical ‘trading zone’ and see the development of communications between the disciplines as a necessary response to the realities of world complexity, the dissolving of boundaries between subjects, the need to combat excessive specialisation, the drive for rounded graduates who possess scientific literacy, critical and creative thinking, and expanded expertise, vocabulary and tool sets, in addition to the ability to communicate to wider audiences. In this context we report on how these principles have been impacted by the very recent moves to integrate arts-based subjects with STEM disciplines - moving from STEM to STEAM. We suggest that this is an important transition from which benefits for the student should arise.

    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    Keywords: interdisciplinary communication skills; project-based learning; peerlearning; collaborative enquiry-based learning;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Electronic Engineering
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Education
    Item ID: 5654
    Depositing User: Robert Lawlor
    Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2015 17:38
    Refereed: Yes
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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