|A Proposed Model for Tracking the University Interdisciplinary Projects|
Rafael Melgarejo, Paulina Cadena
Interdisciplinary is the concrete interaction between
two or more knowledge fields, leading to a
transformation of any of the involved disciplines. It is
proposed that the way to measure if an interdisciplinary
project is successful is to show the transformation of
the key concept(s). The model proposes to establish an
initial conceptual basis for each discipline, and a
crossing matrix of the same or similar concepts from
all disciplines used in a research project. At the
conclusion of the project, the reformulated concepts are
verified into the matrix.
Enhancing Teaching, Adaptability and Presentation Skills through Improvisational Theater
Thomas J. Marlowe
Improvisational theater, creative role-playing and open-ended scenarios are increasingly being used as ways to emphasize the importance of combining planning with flexibility and evolution to respond to changes in context. These skills and capabilities are extremely valuable in teaching, especially for strengthening communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the capacity for critical thinking and problem solving. Further, this combination of planning with flexibility is also a major theme of agile software development and a number of other problem-solving domains, and in the collaborative development of intellectual property in technical areas. With improvisation, the plan becomes less of a fixed framework, and more of a guideline. In software engineering, it becomes a mutable structure on which to hang goals and objectives, progress, processes, artifacts, and properties. In this submission, we explore the ramifications of this approach.
Interprofessional Collaborative Practice to Improve Patient Outcomes: A Pilot Study
Jennifer Styron, Catherine Dearman, Sheila Whitworth, Henrietta Brown
This project focused on a pilot project implemented during the 2013-2014 academic year. The overall purpose was to facilitate interprofessional collaborative practice innovations through the development of leadership, core competencies, and the use of technology, especially among nurses. Nursing, medicine, and physician assistant students were educated on the IOM competencies for interprofessional teams and the core competencies identified by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel  to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to practice in the collaborative practice environments. The project addressed four goals: Develop faculty expertise and leadership in interprofessional collaborative practice to provide a current, high quality education to nursing, physician assistant, and medical students; Implement a culturally responsive and respectful collaborative interprofessional practice curriculum to prepare nurses, physician assistants, and medical students to deliver high quality, efficient, team-based care in a dynamically evolving environment; Focus interprofessional collaborative practice education on models and practices that lead to improvement in patient outcomes; and Evaluate the program and disseminate best practices. Findings from this pilot include strategies to engage different health professions’ students and faculty, partnering with community agencies, building an effective interprofessional team to guide the project, and seeking funding for extension and expansion of the offerings.
Using a Common Pedagogy across Multiple Disciplines to Improve Student Learning
Ronald A. Styron, Jr., Jennifer L. Styron
This study includes findings from a university-wide
instructional improvement project conducted across multiple
disciplines in undergraduate and graduate courses. The
project was constructed around a common pedagogy,
Michaelsen’s Team-Based Learning . The purpose of the
project was to improve several outcomes based on the
constructs of critical thinking, collaboration, engagement and
persistence. Data indicated a positive impact on each of these
outcomes with a number of statistically significant findings.
 Michaelsen, L. K., Knight, A. B., & Fink, L. D.
(2004). Team-Based Learning: A transformative
use of small groups in college teaching. Sterling,
Enhancing Writing through Strengthened Executive Function
Russell Jay Hendel
We explore aspects of essay writing requiring high-level organizational capacity and executive function. The literature supports the approach that specific and focused writing-skill mastery leads to reduced anxiety and increased self-efficacy which correlates with improved writing skills. Although essay writing is a complex multi-dimensional task, two particular strategies, tree-diagram and reference methods, specifically address the organizational skills characteristic of executive function. The tree and reference methods presented in this paper address the flow of information, not content, and consequently, the methods presented in this paper apply to mathematics and English as well as to K-12 and college level.
|Using Interdisciplinary and Active Research to Encourage Higher Resolution Research and Prototyping in Design|
Adream Blair-Early, Frankie Flood
University art and design programs are branching out and
creating interdisciplinary programs and research centers
that connect design students and faculty across various
disciplines such as business, engineering, architecture,
information studies, health sciences and education.
A human-centered, problem-based approach to design
research looks to position industry and academic leaders
to work alongside students, community leaders, artists
and non-profits to develop creative and innovative
solutions to the challenges facing contemporary society.
But product design benefits even more from practices
that engage users throughout the entire design process,
often called participatory design. Participatory design
process utilizes user feedback throughout the design
process to spur innovation and improve design quality.
It is possible in the classroom to engage in participatory
design and participatory prototyping through the use of
inexpensive 3D printers and laser cutters as well as
traditional hand tools, requiring only mastery of a few
simple techniques and technology readily available on
laptop computers. The class research being presented was
conceived as part of a new interdisciplinary classroom
research space call the Digital Craft Research Lab
(DCRL) housed within the department of Art and Design.
Courses taught within the DCRL offer students,
researchers and faculty continual access to both low
resolution and high-resolution prototyping machinery and
This paper looks at the role of action and participatory
research in a design course that created printed hand
innovations in collaboration with a nine-year-old female
user. Students were asked to work on modeling new
designs as well as capturing the progress in a final open
source book and models.
This paper asks the question can the use of classroom
collaboration, action research and work spaces encourage
creativity, innovation, and critical thinking in student
and professional designers?
Integration of Education: Using Social Media Networks to Engage Students
Risa Blair, Tina M. Serafini
Any educator today will tell you that the strategies used in the classroom have evolved and changed with the access everyone has to technology. In a world with constant changes and shifts because of immediate access to information, the way course content is delivered must evolve and adjust to the new ways students learn.
Engagement of students in course content and reaching learning objectives are the key elements educators strive for in every course. Enter social media networks and the ability to leverage the user activity with these applications in education. Now, educators can provide content which engages students and meets learning objectives the way students want to learn. By reviewing social media networks: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Blogs, Twitter, and Evernote, educators can position themselves to be as technology-savvy as today’s students.
Management, Resources and Reproductive Biology
Bernard Wallner, Martin Fieder
This work presents a relationship between environmental
conditions and reproductive performance in modern humans.
Birth rates and sex ratio (SRB) at birth were analyzed from
large data scales. The results include data from people working
or living under different job respectively socio-economic
conditions, such as employees working in the academic field,
employees under supervisory or hire and fire conditions, and
people who have better access to resources. The results show
that employees who have better jobs and earn more money do
have more children and females under better socio-economic
conditions do give birth to more sons.
In conclusion, it is suggested that different socio-economic
environmental conditions may have an impact on female and
male birth rates and SRBs, which may be related to stress
Effectiveness and Utility of a Case-Based Model for Delivering Engineering Ethics Professional Development Units
Heidi Ann Hahn
This article describes an action research project conducted
at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to resolve a
problem with the ability of licensed and/or certified
engineers to obtain the ethics-related professional
development units or hours (PDUs or PDHs) needed to
maintain their credentials. Because of the recurring
requirement and the static nature of the information, an
initial, in-depth training followed by annually updated
refresher training was proposed. A case model approach,
with online delivery, was selected as the optimal
pedagogical model for the refresher training. In the first
two years, the only data that was collected was throughput
and information retention. Response rates indicated that the
approach was effective in helping licensed professional
engineers obtain the needed PDUs. The rates of correct
responses suggested that knowledge transfer regarding
ethical reasoning had occurred in the initial training and had
been retained in the refresher. In FY13, after completing the
refresher, learners received a survey asking their opinion of
the effectiveness and utility of the course, as well as their
impressions of the case study format vs. the typical
presentation format. Results indicate that the courses have
been favorably received and that the case study method
supports most of the pedagogical needs of adult learners as
well as, if not better than, presentation-based instruction.
Future plans for improvement are focused on identifying
and evaluating methods for enriching online delivery of the
engineering ethics cases.
Informing via Research: Methods, Challenges and Success when Using a Multi-Disciplinary Team and Reverse Engineering Analysis Processes to Answer a 200 Year Old Question
Melinda H. Connor, Sallyanne Payton
The goal of this study was to develop the foundation for the creation of a 21st century spiritual which could be used to mitigate the effects of stress and violence. Using a multi-disciplinary team and basing the work in the music of the antebellum Negro Spiritual (a group of 6000 works), reverse engineering, extensive use of engineering principles and utilization of existing databases was done to aid in the analysis of the neurological and physiological impact of the musical form and development of an applicable theory.