Foster professional skills though international interdisciplinary collaboration

A combined teaching and research project by Thomas Mejtoft, Helen Cripps, Christopher Blöcker, and Melissa Fong-Emmerson.

Parts of this project has been funded by grants from The faculty of Science and technology, Umeå University, and the Centre for Educational Development, Umeå University.

This project has won the Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Award 2020 Innovative Teaching at Edith Cowan University (Award to Helen Cripps).
This project has been nominated for a AAUT 2023 Award (Australien Award of University Teaching).

Engineering is a profession that has a global impact, and it is important that both current and future engineers have a holistic perspective and international understanding of their role in today’s global society.

Setup of the interdisciplinary international collaborative project with a marketing team in Australia and a development team in Sweden.
Setup of the interdisciplinary international collaborative project (Mejtoft, Cripps & Blöcker, 2022, p. 456).

This project in an international interdisciplinary collaborative project created in a setting between two universities – Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Perth, Australia, and Umeå University (UmU) in Umeå, Sweden. The collaboration is set up between an marketing unit at ECU and a engineering unit at UmU. The idea of the collaboration is simple and structured as a potential collaboration between a marketing team (ECU) and a software/UX development team (UmU), located at two different offices, at a fictional digital agency. This is close to a real situation where firms often have different competences located in different parts of the world, depending on what and for whom the product is developed. Together, the teams are developing a solution for a wicked problem, given to them by a hypothetical customer (the teachers). The problem definition is intentionally kept broad to give the students the opportunity to shape the project, but also to reflect the common real-world situation that rarely all required information for a project is available. Hence, this is close to real situations that the students might face when seeking a professional career after graduation.

As professionals, marketeers need to have the skills to face diverse situations with impact from new technology and other professionals, as well as be agile to find solutions and adopt to the current situation.

The research is based on action research methods and data has been collected, since 2017, using interviews, surveys, and observations with students and teachers.

Publications and contributions

Open access

Mejtoft, T., Cripps, H., & Blöcker, C. (2022). International professional skills: Interdisciplinary project work. In M. S. Gudjonsdottir, H. Audunsson, A. Manterola Donoso, G. Kristjansson, I. Saemundsdóttir, J. T. Foley, M. Kyas, A. Sripakagorn, J. Roslöf, J. Bennedsen, K. Edström, N. Kuptasthien & R. Lyng (Eds.), 18th CDIO International Conference: Proceedings – Full Papers (pp. 453–464). Reykjavik University/CDIO Initiative. 
Download @ Reykjavik University

Open access

Mejtoft, T., Cripps, H., & Blöcker, C. (2021). Internationalization at home: An international interdisciplinary experience. In H. Håkansson (Ed.), Bidrag från 8:e Utvecklingskonferensen för Sveriges ingenjörsutbildningar (pp. 49-53). Karlstad University.
Download @ DiVA

Cripps, H., Mejtoft, T., & Blöcker, C. (2021). Bridging the Digital Gap – ECU Umea [abstract]. Contribution at the ECUlture 2021 Conference (online), Edith Cowan University, Perth WA, Australia.

Cripps, H., Mejtoft, T., & Blöcker, C. (2020). “Sweden Calling” – The challenges and rewards of Zooming across disciplines, time zones and hemispheres [abstract]. Contribution at the ECUlture 2020 Conference (online), Edith Cowan University, Perth WA, Australia.

Open access

Mejtoft, T., Cripps, H., Berglund, S., & Blöcker, C. (2020). Sustainable international experience: A collaborative teaching project. In J. Malmqvist, J. Bennedsen, K. Edström, N. Kuptasthien, A. Sripakagorn, J. Roslöf, I. Saemundsdottir & M. Siiskonen (Eds.), The 16th International CDIO Conference: Proceedings – Full Papers Volume 2(2) (pp. 196–205). Gothenburg: Chalmers University of Technology/CDIO Initiative.
(isbn: 978-91-88041-27-2; issn: 2002-1593)
Download @ CDIO

Open access

Mejtoft, T., Cripps, H., & Berglund, S. (2020). International experience by interdisciplinary collaborative teaching. In L. Pettersson & K. Bolldén (Eds.), Bidrag från 7:e Utvecklingskonferensen för Sveriges ingenjörsutbildningar (pp. 166–168). Luleå Tekniska Universitet.
(isbn: 978-91-7790-605-6)
Download @ DiVA

Open access

Mejtoft, T., Cripps, H., & Berglund, S. (2019). Sustainable international experience: Lessons learned from an interdisciplinary teaching project. In Universitetspedagogiska konferensen 2019: Helhetssyn på undervisning – kropp, känsla och kognition i akademin (pp. 43–44). Umeå universitet.
Download @ UPL

Open access

Mejtoft, T., Cripps, H., Berglund, S., Dlacic, J., & Torbarina, M. (2019). Internationalization of students’ learning using online technology: Lessons learned. In A. Pucihar, M. Kljajić Borštnar, R. Bons, J. Seitz, H. Cripps & D. Vidmar (Eds.), 32nd Bled eConference: Humanizing Technology for a Sustainable Society: Conference Proceedings (pp. 1099–1107). Maribor, Slovenia: University of Maribor Press.
(isbn: 978-961-286-280-0; doi: 10.18690/978-961-286-280-0.59
Download @ University of Maribor Press

Open access

Mejtoft, T., Cripps, H., Berglund, S., & Singh, A. (2018). Collaborative teaching project to increase students’ international experience: Experience from interweaving units in Australia and Sweden. In NU2018 – Abstrakt, Abstract 650.
Download @ NU2018

Cripps, H., Mejtoft, T., & Singh, A. (2017). The use of a business simulation through an online collaboration platform to improve students’ collaborative and communication skills [abstract]. Contribution at the ECUlture 2017 Conference, Perth WA, Australia.

(First published by Thomas Mejtoft: 2022-01-12; Last updated: 2022-10-20)

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