THE USE OF MULTIDISCIPLINARY PROJECTS AS AN EFFECTIVE STRATEGY TO PROMOTE COLLABORATIVE LEARNING
The educational project aims to overcome the barrier of classic skills related to different disciplines. In an increasingly variable and multidisciplinary market, in order to be valued and effective in the professional world, it is essential to work in multidisciplinary teams, collaborate with others and leverage the strengths of the different team professionals. It is therefore necessary that students, besides learning content or manage technical equipment, embrace how to work together and reflect on what has been done to achieve competitive products with quality, which have to be completed within the deadlines and communicated effectively.
With these objectives a group of teachers from different areas and schools have proposed within our courses a project based on cooperation and collaborative learning of multidisciplinary groups. We aim to achieve both, the specific competencies of each area and other transversal competencies such as, teamwork and effective communication.
The project “Audioguide Valencian tourist routes on architectural heritage” integrates students of the School of Architecture, who prepared an architectural tour of the city of Valencia through technical data sheets of singular buildings on the route, and Audiovisual Communication and Tourism Management degree students, who, from the technical data sheets made writing, translating, voice and audio recording of the guide in Spanish and English. Finally, the students of the School of Business Administration prepared a merchant brochure to improve the marketing of the audioguide in the market.
The process of the project has not been free of problems. The main difficulties are related to the sequencing of the activities of the various groups in an environment where there courses take place in different quarters where school appoints many of the activities in the school calendar. Additionaly, there was an important physical distance between the schools involved. On the other hand, the absence of an institutional platform for this type of project requires the use of free platforms with requirements which greatly hinder the work and communication among participants.
The assessment of students and teachers has been positive and consistent with the results or products obtained. Those projets are the evidence of the success of this methodology as a tool to develop skills necessary for future employment of students.
From this first experience and the conclusions we believe certain aspects should be improved to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency in future projects. These improvements are related to a careful selection of the collaborative tools to use and the separation of the project schedule and the academic year, so that projects can be multiannual and can be built on the basis of previous years work.