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The Journey to One: Teachers' Transformation in Multidisciplinary Cooperation on Engineering Education

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Engaging Faculty Across Disciplines, Colleges, and Institutions

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

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Paper Authors


Mei-Mei Song Tamkang University

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Mei-Mei Song is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Institute of Futures Studies and the Director of the Center for Futures Intelligence and Research (C-FAR) at Tamkang University in Taiwan. Dr. Song’s teaching and research interests are in futures thinking, futures education, and engineering education. She earned her M.A. and Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University and is a fellow of World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF).

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Shang-Hsien Hsieh National Taiwan University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Hsieh is a Professor and Chairman in Department of Civil Engineering at National Taiwan University (NTU), Taipei, Taiwan. He is currently serving as Director of the Research Center for Building & Infrastructure Information Modeling and Management in NTU’s Department of Civil Engineering. He is a member of Board of Directors of the International Society for Computing in Civil and Building Engineering Since 1999 and served as the society’s President from 2006 to 2008. He has a wide range of research interests, including engineering & construction simulations, engineering information & knowledge management systems, engineering education, parallel and distributed engineering computing, earthquake engineering and structural dynamics, and object-oriented software development.

Dr. Hsieh received his B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1985 from NTU, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University, U.S.A. in 1990 and 1993, respectively. From 1993 to 1995, he worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University, U.S.A. He joined the Department of Civil Engineering at NTU in 1995 and had since served NTU as the Chief of Extracurricular Activities Section in Office of Student Affairs, Vice-Chairman of Department of Civil Engineering, and Deputy Dean for Office of International Affairs.

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Shih-Yao Lai National Taiwan University, Graduate Institute of Building and Planning

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Assistant Professor

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In the time that interdisciplinary education is highly valued and strongly emphasized in the engineering education, experiences of teachers working in multidisciplinary teams deserve a closer examination, as teachers are essential players in leading curriculum changes towards multidisciplinary cooperation. What motivates teachers to take the first step out of their professional comfort zone to reach out to and work with others? What might be the difficulties, struggles, or even frustrations along the way? What constitutes the moments of glory and/or offers real rewards to them? Do disciplinary boundaries play a role in the cooperation? If yes, how? These issues need to be further understood in order to expand the impacts of multidisciplinary education.

This study presents the 3-year experience of a multidisciplinary teaching team working together to co-teach a Capstone course that aimed to enhance students’ capacity for solving multidisciplinary problems by providing real-world issues and cross-disciplinary team experiences. Students from four departments—civil engineering, building and urban planning, mechanical engineering, and futures studies—worked together to propose revitalization design solutions for a 50-plus-year-old run-down community that is in the prime area of a city but is mostly resided by disadvantaged groups in the society. Data was collected through meeting discussion logs over the period of time (2013-2016). It was thereafter transcribed and analyzed using qualitative research methodology and computer software NVivo. Results from the analysis will be presented in order to portray the teaching team’s transformation in multiple dimensions over the three years.

Song, M., & Hsieh, S., & Lai, S. (2017, June), The Journey to One: Teachers' Transformation in Multidisciplinary Cooperation on Engineering Education Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28984

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