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The contribution of interdisciplinary learning to employability development in maths and engineering

CETL-MSOR Conference 2018, University of Glasgow (06/09/2018). With Alex Crombie.

In an effort to improve students' employability development, second year mathematics and aerospace engineering modules were brought together to complete a short interdisciplinary project designed to require input from both disciplines. The teaching intervention required engagement with a simulated tender process, which constituted the assessed output. Students undertaking the project were measured before and after the intervention on scales related to employability to examine what impact this process had.
With the expansion of the higher education sector, employability is becoming an increasingly important aspect of higher education to all stakeholders. The responsibility of tertiary education providers must extend beyond the graduation of students and support their mobility in the labour market. In order to do this, an increasing focus on how to deliver content which is not only technically appropriate, but provides sufficient employability development is important. Interdisciplinary teaching has the potential to develop students in ways that are strongly aligned to improved employability - self-efficacy, communication, reduced egocentrism, et cetera.
This talk discusses the design and delivery of an interdisciplinary teaching intervention and how the various features of this process impact students' employability development.