Team building in multidisciplinary client-sponsored project courses

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Experience working inmultidisciplinary teams is important both to prepare Computer Science (CS) students for industry and to improve their communication with teammates from disciplines other than their own. This article describes the evolution and results of collaborations among three courses: an undergraduate CS course about user interface design and implementation, an undergraduate Scientific and Technical Communication (STC) course about usability and instructions writing, and a graduate CS/Human Factors course about userinterface evaluation and usability testing. Students from all three courses work with scientists to complete the scientist-sponsored citizen science Android applications (apps). Students from the undergraduate CS and STC courses form multidisciplinary teams to design and implement apps, while the graduate students consult with the teams by evaluating and user-testing the apps. The collaboration's effectivenesswas assessed using student surveys, interviews, and evaluations of student work. This article compares the collaboration within the teams and the coordination with the scientists across two years of activities in order to determine the effectiveness of course modifications. The article concludes with recommendations for improving the collaboration within teams and the coordination with clients in multidisciplinary course projects.

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ACM Transactions on Computinig Education