Ideathon and Interdisciplinary Research

Throughout our research careers, we don’t often get the chance to interact with researchers in other disciplines, which could lead to students not gaining a variety in perspective and understanding of different methods. Interdisciplinary research is important for a variety of reasons, one of them being the skillful combining of knowledge from different disciplines can lead to the production of novel solutions to elaborate problems. The ideathon was a way for us to learn about skills and techniques used in other disciplines to create successful research proposals, and collaborate to devise a project that attacked a problem from multiple dimensions. This activity showed me that working with people who have different approaches to problem solving than I do can lead to more favorable outcomes overall by allowing us to use our collective pool of knowledge in determining the best path. 

Within our group, we had students working in STEM, social sciences, and humanities. Our project addresses factors that influence how well people can learn in a remote setting, and does so through the use of interviews and surveys, and then qualitative and quantitative analysis of these. One of the ways that we were able to take a well rounded approach to the project was by incorporating questions from all of these disciplines into our survey, one of the parts of our methods, and identifying factors that contribute to reduced access to higher education in this way. Additionally, aspects of our methods were best understood by either stem researchers or social sciences and humanities researchers, but they fit together in a suitable and opportune way. Communication was not a major issue for our group as everyone was very well spoken and good at elaborating on their ideas. Our team collaborated in an efficient manner and we were able to get specific methods and potential survey questions that encapsulated the research problem well.

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