Abstract




Cohort Learning: Supporting Transdisciplinary Communication and Problem-solving Skills in Graduate STEM Researchers

Megan O'Neill
New Jersey Institute of Technology
(oneill@njit.edu)

Matthew Bandelt
New Jersey Institute of Technology
()

Matthew Adams
New Jersey Institute of Technology
()

Shawn Chester
New Jersey Institute of Technology
()

Wenbo Cai
New Jersey Institute of Technology
()

Siva Nadimpalli
New Jersey Institute of Technology
()


Abstract:
The 21st century STEM researcher is increasingly called upon to work collaboratively on large-scale societal challenges. In this setting, disciplinary methods and methodologies may function as starting points, but they lack a focus on the metacognition and inquiry-based thinking required to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize diverse global problems. Transdisciplinary theories of learning push researchers and students to make just such a move beyond the boundaries of disciplinarity and toward the co-creation and co-use of knowledge that is the result of interactions between the academic disciplines and society: government, industry, and civil society. For graduate programs with limited financial resources, faculty resources, and collaborative working spaces, cohort learning models may ameliorate the practical “costs” of transdisciplinary research and education while providing precisely the environment in which it may flourish. This article presents the rationale, structure, and assessment plan for one such STEM cohort learning community.






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