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Abstract

Knowledge and abilities associated with interdisciplinary education include integrating knowledge across disciplines, applying knowledge to real-world situations, and demonstrating skills in creativity, teamwork, communication, and collaboration. This case study discusses how a departmental curriculum committee in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University adapted the collaborative assessment protocol used in Washington Center’s national project on Assessing Learning in Learning Communities to meet curriculum committee goals. These goals included developing a strategy for examining engineering students’ interdisciplinary understanding across the curriculum and for ensuring that assessment efforts would support program improvements designed to give engineering graduates the specialized knowledge and abilities named by the National Academy of Engineering. As a means to help students achieve critical learning outcomes by aligning curriculum, instruction, and assessment, the curriculum committee undertook a comprehensive review of student work at different levels by posing the question, “what suggestions might we offer to this student to deepen or develop the work?”

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