Teaching Innovation in Higher Education: A Multidisciplinary Class


This paper proposes a new multidisciplinary set of classes that can help undergraduate students achieve learning objectives related to hands-on project-based skills. Employers are looking for students who have experience in realistic work environments while also having a strong foundation in their major. During spring 2018, the authors created a multidisciplinary class titled: “Autonomous Vehicles.” This class brought together a multidisciplinary group of students to convert a traditional golf cart to autonomous operation. To our knowledge, this is the first course of its type to be offered in the state of Virginia. With research expanding in this field, it is valuable for students to have experience working with hardware and software related to robotics and automation. This project taught students’ important technical skills as well as soft skills related to working with large teams, communication, and project management. The authors offered this class again in Fall 2019 with a different theme, as a demonstration of the effectiveness and the reproducibility of this approach.

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