Framework to study the multi-disciplinary profiles of engineering and architectural design students

Hernan Casakin, Vishal Singh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In recent years, there has been an increasing call for multi-disciplinarity in higher education. The literature stresses the importance of multi-disciplinarity in architectural and engineering design education. The present study describes a framework that has been developed to focus on the identification of the profile of engineering and architectural design students, defined in terms of multi-disciplinarily and expertise. The framework describes how the multi-disciplinary profile can be accessed from the perspective of students, teachers, and professionals. The study explores how the multi-disciplinary profile of students can be used to enhance teaching and learning. We hypothesize that identifying the profile of students is critical for obtaining an overview of the type of professionals that academia is forming, how students assess their own knowledge and expertise, how this corresponds with the goals of the curricula, the contents delivered in the different courses, and the perception of teachers and practitioners. Therefore, central research questions that the framework aims to deal with in the future are: What is the self-perceived profile of a typical engineering and architectural design student, defined according to multi-disciplinarily and expertise (knowledge and skills associated with the curricular subjects)? What are the relationships between the self-perceived expertise and multidisciplinary profile of students, and the perception of teachers and professionals with regard to the typical and desirable class profiles? The proposed framework of multi-disciplinarily and expertise has important applications for engineering and architectural education. These include: planning the curricula and course assignments, establishing admission procedures in specialized courses, and identifying students’ learning goals. The applicability of the framework will be demonstrated through a series of scenarios illustrating the significance of profiling multi-disciplinarity and expertise distribution in a class. The reported framework can be seen as initial steps towards clarifying and gaining insight into the notion and application of multi-disciplinarily and expertise in higher education, particularly in engineering and architecture education.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuality, Mobility and Globalization in the Higher Education System
Subtitle of host publicationA Comparative Look at the Challenges of Academic Teaching
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781634850124
ISBN (Print)9781634849869
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Academic profile
  • Architectural education
  • Expertise
  • Knowledge domain
  • Multi-disciplinary


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