Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NORWAY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2022 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 1798-1803
ISBN: 978-84-09-45476-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2022.0459
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
This article reports on experiences gained during a one-week multidisciplinary project at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway (NTNU). The projects primary aim was to explore a possible method of facilitating a multidisciplinary learning environment across the subjects Technology and Society (TS), Communication and Norwegian (CN), (introductory) Physics and Mathematics. Secondly, the project aimed to observe the potential of meta learning as a bridge to multidisciplinary approaches.

The projects’ primary motivation was to try out a possible angle for multidisciplinary work, across all its subjects, such that similar projects could be implemented at the entire course the following year. Further, putting an emphasis on meta learning was deemed an interesting approach of attempting to develop critical thinking among the participants, and to further highlight the connection between subjects.

A group of approximately 50 students from the preparatory course for engineering studies at NTNU were divided into groups and given in total 11 tasks/themes to choose from. All the tasks in some way involved the subjects TS and CN, while either physics or mathematics formed the main body of each task. Further, some of the tasks involved some level of meta learning by referring to pedagogical and didactical aspects of STEM-courses. The groups were instructed to produce a research question and hypothesis relating to their task, collect, and analyze data, and write a report on their findings. Each group was to present their research and results to the rest of the class after the project week.

In general, the project yielded a high degree of participation from the students. Using surveys, experiments, and literary analysis, they achieved many interesting results. Particularly, some students analyzed their peers’ perceived effectiveness of some of the main teaching and learning methods implemented thus far in each course. After the project’s conclusion, we noticed both more conversations within the student groups and more collaboration across them. Some students also expressed that they felt more motivated after the project. However, the project yielded little to no noticeable difference in test results, neither in physics nor mathematics.
Multidisciplinary learning, collaborative learning, meta learning, engineering studies.