Restructuring Interdisciplinary Teaching Materials: Crossing Over From Non-STEM to STEM


This study presents seven types of visual modifications to customize teaching materials for an interdisciplinary course called "The Role of Hydrogen Energy for Net Zero Emission and Practice." An instructional designer with a non-STEM background worked with a team of instructors to redesign their lecture slides, with the goals of appealing to students from a variety of majors and reducing the divide between STEM and non-STEM disciplines. However, integrating different domains presented seven obstacles, which were addressed using Mayer's Multimedia Learning principles (2021). Four non-STEM students reviewed the initial version and provided feedback, which guided the instructional designer in making modifications. The resulting lecture slides were analyzed using a multimodal qualitative approach, identifying common problems such as lack of objectives, incongruity, and information implicitness. After discussing the findings with the reviewers and instructors, it was determined that information implicitness often arose due to assumed foundational knowledge in basic STEM disciplines. Pedagogic suggestions were made and illustrated to lower cognitive load and prevent disciplinary clashes. In conclusion, customizing teaching materials for interdisciplinary courses and bridging the gap between STEM and non-STEM disciplines is essential for effective education. This study provides insights into how visual modifications and pedagogic approaches can improve knowledge retention and appeal to a wider range of students.

Author Information
Wen-Chun Chen, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan
Kai-Ting Chen, National Chung-Cheng University, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2023
Stream: Teaching Experiences

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon