Using Undergraduate Research Experiences to Foster Transdisciplinary Education in Hawai’i

Conference: The Paris Conference on Education (PCE2022)
Title: Using Undergraduate Research Experiences to Foster Transdisciplinary Education in Hawai’i
Stream: Interdisciplinary, Multidisciplinary & Transdisciplinary Education
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Camonia Graham-Tutt, University of Hawai'i-West O'ahu, United States


The Student Research and Creative Works Symposium was developed as a transdisciplinary educational experience to prepare island students for 21st-century careers. With fewer opportunities for undergraduate students to be exposed to research on the West side of the island of O’ahu, the symposium has become an environment of research and scholarship that immerses students in research whereby meeting the need for more comprehensive problem solvers in Hawaii’s workforce. To date, over 550 undergraduate students have presented in 10 symposiums. The symposium continues to provide a broad range of learning experiences that support undergraduate students in 1) identifying and solving complex research problems, 2) exploring cultural issues, and 3) evaluating challenges that affect people in Hawai’i. The symposium serves as an impactful setting that allows students to identify, design methods, critically evaluate data, and creatively disseminate information. These higher-ordered problem-solving skills are necessary to meet the needs of Hawaii’s rising workforce demands. As the sole transdisciplinary research event on-campus, the symposium not only showcases student knowledge in the art of research methodology, scientific reasoning, and giving skillful presentations, it also allows for faculty to work together from divisions across campus. Faculty have redesigned their course curricula in creative ways both for in-person classes as well as virtual courses to give students the agency, confidence, and skills to present their research to the broader campus and the community. This poster presentation will include data from 10 symposiums to demonstrate the effectiveness of transdisciplinary education in research for undergraduate students.

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