Broadening Participation Research Project: Charting a Path to Trans-disciplinary Collaborative Design
Hampton University is conducting a design-based research project in collaboration with Old Dominion University to document the effectiveness of an interdisciplinary collaborative program in Adaptation to Sea Level Rise. Investigators will implement cycles of design, enactment, analysis, and redesign of pedagogic methods in an existing interdisciplinary hybrid set of courses devoted to studying adaptation to sea level rise for urban neighborhoods in Norfolk. Virginia. The existing course set combines lecture, community engagement, and an active design studio. The course set is taught under the aegis of an established cross-university, interdisciplinary entity, the Coastal Community Design Collaborative. The overarching objective of the project is to model effective trans-disciplinary collaborative research and design in teaching, learning, and productivity. The project is expected to provide a path to emerging fields requiring the synchronistic inputs from multiple disciplines while strengthening a community of practice around an emerging field to stimulate interest and success of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.
The project addresses two research questions: (1) What pedagogic tools, curricular support, and teaching strategies can foster trans-disciplinary collaboration among students from engineering, architecture, and science programs? Researchers will evaluate impacts on students' short- and long-term career interests. (2) What shifts in focus and methods are required for faculty to effectively lead a trans-disciplinary design studio? Research data will include recorded lectures, testing, focused interviews with subject-matter experts, and evaluation of electronic discussion board material. Data will be collected in an authentic setting, and the research methodology will employ formative evaluation to produce research findings. The project can potentially increase the number of underrepresented STEM students with trans-disciplinary experience to undertake the challenges of engineering solutions to coastal impacts of climate change.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.