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Work in progress: Phenomenographic perspective on engineering students' experience of interdisciplinary learning

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1 Author(s)
Ming-Chien Hsu ; Sch. of Eng. Educ., Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN, USA

With challenges engineering education faces in meeting societal needs, learning in an interdisciplinary setting has the potential to provide engineering students with opportunities to consider alternative perspectives and engage in deep learning approaches. Few empirical studies have explored interdisciplinary learning situated in other learning literature. This work-in-process explores the variance of students' experience of interdisciplinary settings. A phenomenographic framework is used to guide the methodology of the study. Maximum variation sampling is employed when collecting data using semi-structured interviews with 20-30 engineering students about their concrete experience of interdisciplinary learning. The literature and research on interdisciplinarity as well as adult learning inform the construction of the phenomenographic study and will provide ways to interpret and situate the results. The interpretive framework includes elements from theories of transformative learning, encountering others, and interdisciplinary topology.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2012

Date of Conference:

3-6 Oct. 2012