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Multi-disciplinary Teams – the Continuing Challenge to Collaborate in the Classroom

9 pagesPublished: September 25, 2020


The need to collaborate in the Owner/Architecture/Engineering/Construction (OAEC) industry continues to grow. As owners increasingly choose alternative delivery methods for their projects, the ability of key participants to effectively work with one another is becoming a critical and defining skill. In their 2016 accreditation update, the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) decided to include a new Student Learning Outcome (SLO) specific to this growing need. ACCE SLO #9 states that students graduating from accredited institutions are expected to show the ability to “apply construction management skills as a member of a multi-disciplinary team.” This requirement poses a significant challenge to many universities. This paper provides qualitative data from multi-disciplinary courses conducted at 3 universities. Participating administration, faculty and students provided data that supports anticipated benefits of multi-disciplinary courses and enhances previous findings. Observed challenges in addition to those provided by extant literature were identified. Observations and interviews highlight the importance of differentiating between multi-disciplinary interactions and inter-disciplinary interactions. It is recommended that interested programs carefully consider program and course design as it relates to these differences and additionally identified issues as the challenge to collaborate continues.

Keyphrases: Accreditation, collaboration, multidisciplinary, student learning outcomes

In: Tom Leathem (editor). Associated Schools of Construction Proceedings of the 56th Annual International Conference, vol 1, pages 152--160

BibTeX entry
  author    = {James Smith and Evan Bingham and Clifton Farnsworth},
  title     = {Multi-disciplinary Teams -- the Continuing Challenge to Collaborate in the Classroom},
  booktitle = {Associated Schools of Construction Proceedings of the 56th Annual International Conference},
  editor    = {Tom Leathem},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Built Environment},
  volume    = {1},
  pages     = {152--160},
  year      = {2020},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2632-881X},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/z59f}}
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