June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
The Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program is a service-learning program founded by Purdue University in 1995 and is now an active part of the Arizona State University curriculum. Compared to traditional service learning, EPICS differs by implementing student learning through design projects with real community partners, multidisciplinary teams, industry mentors, and projects that span multiple semesters with potentially new student teams every semester. In this work, the multidisciplinary team factor is examined due to the potential benefits and challenges of supporting multidiscipline teams in an academic curriculum. While multidisciplinary project-based learning and multidisciplinary service-learning are not new ideas, rarely is the team composition considered in relation to the impacts to student learning and perception.
This work examines the experiences of three multidisciplinary, sustainability focused teams providing solutions for use and education in communities considered food-deserts. The three team structures vary in degree of multidisciplinary composition, one of the EPICS differentiators. Students were asked to define multidisciplinary teams and then reflect on their own team experiences and team compositions. Transcripts of focus group interviews with current and previous student team members were analyzed to determine the extent to which multidisciplinary composition of the student teams impacted student perceptions of project success, skills acquired, and overall team environment.
To complement the student perspectives, faculty perspectives regarding supporting multidisciplinary teams in the EPICS program were also collected through a roundtable discussion. Results of a roundtable and SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) analysis are included and discussed. This paper reports the results of the student-focused and faculty-focused analysis of multidisciplinary EPICS teams and plans for further work.
Gillespie, S. M., & Huerta, M. V., & Schoepf, J. J., & Loughman, J. (2019, June), The Impact of Multidisciplinary Teams on Sustainability Projects in EPICS Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33397
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