Interdisciplinary and Project-Based Service Learning for Smart and Connected Communities

Insights from ENDEAVR

Authors

  • Wei Li Texas A&M University, USA
  • Jiahe Bian University of Cincinnati, USA
  • Chanam Lee Texas A & M University, USA
  • Anatol Bologan Texas A & M University, USA
  • Theodora Chaspari Texas A & M University, USA
  • Tyrene Calvesbert Texas A & M University, USA
  • Jaimie Masterson Texas A & M University, USA
  • Jacqueline Stillisano Texas A & M University, USA
  • Kim Wright Texas A & M University, USA
  • Samantha Shields Texas A & M University, USA
  • Debra Fowler Texas A & M University, USA

Keywords:

Interdisciplinary, project-based, service-learning, smart cities, community-driven innovation, higher education

Abstract

The demands are increasing for higher education institutions to implement pedagogies engaging students with emerging technologies to address real-world challenges. Innovative approaches are needed to provide students with hands-on, project-based learning experience in interdisciplinary settings. To meet these demands, specifically related to smart and connected communities, a team of educators created an interdisciplinary and project-based service-learning program named Envisioning the Neo-traditional Development by Embracing the Autonomous Vehicles Realm (ENDEAVR) in collaboration with community and industry partners. The ENDEAVR team piloted the program during the 2019-2020 academic year. Program evaluation was conducted using both pre-post surveys and focus groups centered on the program’s impact on students' critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Based on the analysis and reflections from the pilot implementation, this article identifies key lessons learned in terms of teaching, learning, and institutional management.

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Author Biographies

Wei Li, Texas A&M University, USA

WEI LI, PhD, is Associate Professor of Urban Planning. He is committed to research, education, and service activities that lead to smart solutions for challenges faced by underserved communities and underprivileged populations.  Email: wli@tamu.edu.

Jiahe Bian, University of Cincinnati, USA

JIAHE BIAN, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the School of Planning at the University of Cincinnati. Her research focuses on the intersection of travel behaviors, active living, and smart cities. Email: bianje@ucmail.uc.edu.

Chanam Lee, Texas A & M University, USA

CHANAM LEE, MLA, PhD, is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning and Executive Associate Dean for the School of Architecture at Texas A&M University. Her areas of interest are active living research and healthy community design. Email: chanam@tamu.edu.

Anatol Bologan, Texas A & M University, USA

ANATOL BOLOGAN, is an interdisciplinary artist pursuing his art-based research on the human body and consciousness. His work is grounded in painting, photography, and interactive arts and design that draw on human cognition, imagination, and creative thought. Email: abologan@tamu.edu.

Theodora Chaspari, Texas A & M University, USA

THEODORA CHASPARI, PhD, is Assistant Professor in Computer Science & Engineering. She is also the Director of Human Bio-Behavioral Signals (HUBBS) Lab at Texas A&M University. Email: chaspari@tamu.edu.

Tyrene Calvesbert, Texas A & M University, USA

TYRENE CALVESBERT, is lecturer in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning (LAUP) and the Architecture Department in the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. Email: tyrene@arch.tamu.edu.

Jaimie Masterson, Texas A & M University, USA

JAIMIE MASTERSON, is director of Texas Target Communities (TTC) at Texas A&M University, a high-impact service-learning program that works alongside underserved communities to plan for resilience. Email: JMasterson@arch.tamu.edu.

Jacqueline Stillisano, Texas A & M University, USA

JACQUELINE STILLISANO, EdD is a research scientist and lecturer in the Department of Teaching, Learning, & Culture and co-director of the Texas A&M University Education Research Center at Texas A&M University. Email: jstillisano@tamu.edu.

Kim Wright, Texas A & M University, USA

KIM WRIGHT, PhD, is the assistant director at the National Network of Education Research-Practice Partnerships at Rice University. Email: kimwright@rice.edu.

Samantha Shields, Texas A & M University, USA

SAMANTHA SHIELDS, PhD, is the Assistant Director of Curriculum Development in the Center for Teaching Excellence. She facilitates the Program (Re)Design process with programs interested in taking a deep dive into their existing curriculum or in creating a new program. Email: s.shields@tamu.edu.

Debra Fowler, Texas A & M University, USA

DEBRA FOWLER, PhD, is Executive Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) at Texas A&M University. Email: dfowler@tamu.edu.

Additional Files

Published

2023-10-13

How to Cite

Li, W., Bian, J., Lee, C. ., Bologan, A., Chaspari, T., Calvesbert, T., Masterson, J., Stillisano, J., Wright, K., Shields, S., & Fowler, D. (2023). Interdisciplinary and Project-Based Service Learning for Smart and Connected Communities: Insights from ENDEAVR. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, 12(2), 304–334. Retrieved from https://ojed.org/index.php/jise/article/view/5797