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Cabrini News

A Study on Collaborative Courses

Posted on 7/14/2014 12:36:00 PM

A paper authored by Cabrini College faculty, staff, and alumni, along with several education and community Journalpartners, was featured on the cover of the Spring 2014 Journal of Community Scholarship and Engagement, released by the University of Alabama in May 2014. 

The paper presented a case study on two community-based research (CBR) courses—Watershed Citizenship and Watershed Ecology. 

These courses were piloted at Cabrini College and combined biology, psychology, education, and social justice, in collaboration with community partners. 

Titled, “A Cost Benefit Analysis from Instructor, Community Partner, and Student Perspectives: Cabrini College CBR Courses Merge Service, Education, and Research,” the paper assessed the coursework, research, and collaboration, and offered feedback for others seeking to develop similar courses. 

The courses warranted study when students and faculty from both joined forces with community partners like Stroud Water Research Center, the Valley Creek Restoration Partnership, and the Chesterbrook Friends of Valley Creek to work on the Crabby Creek Restoration Project. 

Students then shared their experience at academic conferences around the country and were awarded the Schuylkill Action Network’s “Schuylkill Scholastic Drinking Water Award.” 

The study showed that students gained a better understanding of how different disciplines can collaborate to address a problem in an integrative manner, and that students value an interdisciplinary teaching approach. 

The study concluded by offering a model for designing and conducting an interdisciplinary team-taught CBR course employing instructors with different disciplinary backgrounds and areas of expertise.