1. Kim Pearson
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Collaborating Across Boundaries to Engage Undergraduates in STEM Learning
  4. https://tardis.hpc.tcnj.edu/cabportal/Home.php
  5. The College of New Jersey
  1. Diane Bates
  2. https://sociology.tcnj.edu/faculty-profiles/dr-diane-bates/
  3. Professor
  4. Collaborating Across Boundaries to Engage Undergraduates in STEM Learning
  5. https://tardis.hpc.tcnj.edu/cabportal/Home.php
  6. The College of New Jersey
  1. S. Monisha Pulimood
  2. https://pulimood.pages.tcnj.edu/
  3. Professor and Chair
  4. Collaborating Across Boundaries to Engage Undergraduates in STEM Learning
  5. https://tardis.hpc.tcnj.edu/cabportal/Home.php
  6. The College of New Jersey
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: Kim Pearson

    Kim Pearson

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 10, 2021 | 10:17 a.m.

    But wait! There's more!

    Here's some additional information that further illuminates the scope of our project, which is in its second year:

    • This link takes you to an interactive story map of our current and past interdisciplinary teaching collaborations.
    • Some of our teams have produced web pages with more detail on their projects and and outcomes. This link takes you to the Spring, 2021 collaboration between Prof. Marla Jaksch's Gender Equity in Education class and Prof. Matthew Cassel's Environmental and Technology Systems class with the General Raj school in New Delhi, India. The web pages for the Spring, 2021 collaboration between Prof. Miriam Shakow's Environmental Anthropology class with the Free Press News Voices project and Prof. Kim Pearson's Race, Gender and the News Class are here.
    • The research note linked under "Resource" explains how the pandemic specifically affected our ability to implement our model as designed, and the limitations of the value of the resulting data from our first full semester, which was Spring, 2020. 

    Finally, we want to note the integral role played by our research assistants. As a primarily undergraduate institution, we work closely with undergraduate researchers. Each of our AY 20-21 student researchers has prepared a brief statement about the work they have been doing:

    Paige Hammond:

    I am a sophomore Communication Studies and Public Health major at The College of New Jersey.  I am passionate about writing, and I would like to pursue a career in health communications. This year, I started in my role as a content creator for the Collaborating Across Boundaries project. My involvement with the Collaborating Across Boundaries project has helped me to improve my content writing skills. Additionally, working with this project has shown me the importance of working together across disciplines to achieve common goals, whether in the classroom or when continuing into my post-graduate career.

    Supriya Mishra: 

    I am. a sophomore English Literature and Sociology major at The College of New Jersey. During my career as a student, I have developed an interest in argumentative writing concerning social justice and am looking to pursue a career in the field of Law. At the commencement of this year, I was awarded the position of Research Assistant for the Collaborating Across Boundaries project. With a necessity for both data analysis and content creation, my involvement in the Collaborating Across Boundaries project has allowed me to expand my skill set in a professional environment while, simultaneously, exposing me to a breadth of concentrations.

    Ian Spiegel

    CABPortal is a web application that aims to highlight and encourage projects that bring together faculty and students from different disciplines to solve complex problems. 

    More often than not, in a standard academic setting, students will tend to collaborate only with students within their own field of study. However, for a majority of jobs after graduation, that’s not the case. Every job involves different people from all sorts of academic fields and backgrounds coming together to reach a goal. In order to better prepare our students for their future careers, the CAB model  believes that we should bring students from all walks of life together into one shared curriculum to provide a much more enriching, practical, and educational experience. CABPortal hosts events, courses, and projects on their website that all pertain to affairs involving multiple academic disciplines collaborating in a common activity. What I do for CABPortal is help develop its front-end and back-end code to assure that the website is stable and continually updated with new functionality for the benefit of all potential users. I continue to update new and old functionality on the website, and manage the database in order to guarantee that the website is always performing at top performance. My research is centered around natural language processing, and by the end of this semester, my goal is to implement it into part of CABPortal’s form submission functionality.

     

     
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    Kimberly Elliott
  • Icon for: Mesut Duran

    Mesut Duran

    Facilitator
    Professor of Technology
    May 11, 2021 | 09:37 a.m.

    -I found the interdisciplinary part of the project very stimulating.  Can you share a little more about how collaborating faculty are selected/coming together? Thanks, Mesut

     
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    Kimberly Elliott
    S. Monisha Pulimood
  • Icon for: Kim Pearson

    Kim Pearson

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 09:59 a.m.

    Thanks for your comment and question! When we submitted our proposal to NSF, we had letters from faculty members who expressed interest in participating. Margaret Leigey, who is featured in our video, was one of those faculty members. Additionally, faculty are recruited by a variety of means, including campus-wide events and workshops on CAB itself and on more general topics related to interdisciplinary collaboration, STEM equity, inclusive pedagogy and the like. We do have some criteria for selecting faculty. Because we have a train-the-trainer model, we look for colleagues who are interested in partnering with someone teaching in one of the disciplines already represented in CAB. Because we are trying to understand whether the type of disciplinary pairing affects the learning experience, we do have some constraints on participants' choice of partner. For example, I teach journalism, which is an interdisciplinary non-STEM discipline. Therefore, my partners have to be either social scientists, technologists, mathematicians or natural scientists. My first collaboration partner was in computer science, and my second was in anthropology. My next partner will be a scientist or technologist of some sort.

     
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    Kimberly Elliott
    Diane Bates
    S. Monisha Pulimood
  • Icon for: Mesut Duran

    Mesut Duran

    Facilitator
    Professor of Technology
    May 11, 2021 | 10:25 a.m.

    Appreciate the response, Kim, this is very helpful.  Thanks, Mesut

     
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    Kim Pearson
  • Icon for: Neela White

    Neela White

    Facilitator
    Project Director
    May 12, 2021 | 03:22 p.m.

    I'm such a huge proponent of interdisciplinary collaborations, way to go!  I am curious how you chose some of your international collaborators?  Great work.

  • Icon for: Diane Bates

    Diane Bates

    Co-Presenter
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 03:42 p.m.

    To date, we have had only one team work with an international collaborator, although it was a very successful collaboration.  The connection to the community partner in this single case was made by one of the collaborating faculty members.  She already had this connection from her previous research and international teaching.  We have found that faculty collaborators who have pre-existing relationships with community partners often have an advantage locally, and this pattern seemed to hold with this remote collaboration.    

  • Icon for: Alexander Rudolph

    Alexander Rudolph

    Facilitator
    Professor of Physics and Astronomy
    May 16, 2021 | 10:47 a.m.

    This is a very creative idea and I liked the example project near the end. I would have liked to hear more about the specific projects and the impact working collaboratively across boundaries had on the students who participated

  • Icon for: Kim Pearson

    Kim Pearson

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 17, 2021 | 12:21 p.m.

    Thanks, Alexander. I hope you were able to look at the interactive story map that provides an overview on all 11 projects to date. As noted above, two of the projects from this semester have websites providing more details.

    As for student responses, we expect to have detailed data after this semester, but I can give you a general range of reactions. As our research note indicates, our first semester was in the Spring of 2020, just as the pandemic forced classes to go fully remote, so the data from that first semester are of limited value when it comes to gauging student reactions to the model, as opposed to student reactions to pandemic learning conditions. Anecdotally, I can report that  students said they found value in collaborating with another discipline and community partner because they could see how the collaboration contributed to their learning and offered the opportunity to address a real problem. Some students expressed appreciation for the contributions made by the students in the collaborating discipline. For example, in the full interview with Abhi Vempati that is available on the same page as the story map, he talks about how he and his computer science classmates made changes to their designs based on input from the journalism and African American studies students. Similarly, in her full interview, Prof. Margaret Leigey talked about the mutual learning that occurred between the computer science students and the criminology students. We have had students who have found the complexities of the collaboration challenging - Vempati talked about communications challenges, for example. I should also mention that a colleague who is not part of our collaboration group told me that one of our collaboration students spoke in her class about the educational benefits of the experience.

    One adaptation that we made to facilitate communications between classes is to enroll students in each of the collaborating classes in a "lab" section in our course management system. This is advertised up front at registration time. The shared lab allows student teams to have shared files space, discussion space, and the ability to submit team assignments. We were also able to create Zoom links for team meetings in the shared online space. We are looking forward to learning what students have to say about these changes in their responses to post-test surveys and reflection essays. 

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