Assessing student interdisciplinarity: Results from an interdisciplinary graduate program in science and engineering fields
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© American Society for Engineering Education, 2018. To address national needs within materials discovery and development, a new interdisciplinary graduate program was designed at the intersection of materials science, informatics, and design. As the first cohort students completed the two-year training and submitted their final interdisciplinary research, the current study employed several different approaches to assess the level of student's interdisciplinarity. One approach, which differentiates from the mainstream approach of creating and utilizing rubrics, was presented in this study. Specifically, level of interdisciplinarity was evaluated by analyzing citations used in a final design process as well as conducting a social network analysis. The results revealed that the research projects conducted by interdisciplinary teams displayed higher levels of interdisciplinarity in comparison to a single disciplinary team (i.e., all members from one discipline). The findings suggest that this interdisciplinary program may provide advantageous opportunities for doctoral students to cross disciplinary boundaries in materials discovery and development.
author list (cited authors)
Chang, C. N., Lavadia, C., Allaire, D., Fowler, D. A., & Arróyave, R.