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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


This paper, for the Evidence-based Practice category of the ERM division of ASEE, describes our efforts to assess a transdisciplinary course that brings together the humanities and engineering —specifically history, ethics, theatre, writing and literature with fluid mechanics, material properties, statics, stress and engineering design. We briefly describe this two-course, first-year curriculum that combines role-playing with engineering design and the engineering concepts necessary to develop culturally appropriate, human-centered waste management systems. The course breaks new ground in transdisciplinary teaching by employing faculty from engineering, the humanities, the social sciences and business who have worked collaboratively to develop the syllabus and who commit to being present at most class meetings. Because of this deep integration, our challenge was to design and implement an assessment system that would do justice to the different disciplinary content, including integrated content, with their diverse approaches to assessment —and to capture, as well, student ability to transfer and integrate knowledge across domains. This paper describes our assessment methods and explores the difficult collaborative process we undertook to design these methods.


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