The Value of Collaborating with Undergraduate Students on an Interdisciplinary Project


  • Mackenzie Martin University of Oxford
  • Jacquie Eales
  • Janet Fast
  • Carlos Florentino
  • Megan Strickfaden



community service-learning, collaboration model, case study, higher education, app development


In this reflective case study, an interdisciplinary collaboration among undergraduate students in a computing science course with a team of graduate and faculty researchers at the same Canadian university will be described. The paper will then outline the considerable benefits that resulted from this community service-learning approach. The paper will also delineate recommendations for others wishing to utilize a similar model in future so as to maximize the effectiveness of such partnerships.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Mackenzie Martin, University of Oxford

Master's Student

References or Bibliography

AGE-WELL. (n.d.). AGE-WELL graduate student and postdoctoral awards in technology and aging (2017). Retrieved from

Beers, P., Boshuizen, H., Kirschner, P., Gijselaers, W. (2006). Common ground, complex problems and decision making. Group Decision and Negotiation, 15(6), 529-556. Retrieved from

Bruusgaard, E., Pinto, P., Swindle, J., & Yoshino, S. (2010). “Are we all on the same page?”: The challenges and charms of collaboration on a journey through interdisciplinarity. Graduate Journal of Social Science, 7(1), 39-58.

Cameson, S. (2010). Getting wisdom: The transformative power of community service-learning. Retrieved from

Canadian Alliance for Community Service-Learning. (n.d.). What is community service-learning? Retrieved from

Choi, B., & Pak, A. (2006). Multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity in health research, services, education and policy: 1. Definitions, objectives, and evidence of effectiveness. Clinical and Investigative Medicine, 29(6), 351-364.

Cummings, J., & Kiesler, S. (2005). Collaborative research across disciplinary and organizational boundaries. Social Studies of Science, 35(5), 703-722. Retrieved from

Fine, M., & Kurdek, L. (1993). Reflections on determining authorship credit and authorship order on faculty-student collaborations. The American Psychological Association, 48(11), 1141-1147. Retrieved from

Fischer, G., & Otswald, J. (2005). Knowledge communication in design communities. In R. Bromme, F. Hesse, & H. Spada (Eds.), Barriers and Biases in Computer-Mediated Knowledge Communication (pp. 213-242). Retrieved from

Gemmel, L., & Clayton, P. (2009). A comprehensive framework for community service-learning in Canada. Canadian Alliance for Community Service Learning. Retrieved from

Keating, N. & Eales, J. (2017). Social consequences of family care of adults: A scoping review. International Journal of Care and Caring, 1(2), 153-173.

Keating, N., Fast, J., Lero, D. S., Lucas, S., & Eales, J. (2014). A taxonomy of the economic costs of family care to adults. Journal of the Economics of Ageing, 3, 11-20.

Kennedy, E. (1995). In pursuit of connections: Reflections on collaborative work. American Anthropologist, 97(1), 26-33. Retrieved from

Levine, J., & Moreland, R. (2004). Collaboration: The social context of theory development. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 8(2), 164-172. Retrieved from

Massey, C., Alpass, F., Flett, R., Lewis, K., Morriss, S., & Sligo, F. (2006). Crossing fields: The case of a multi-disciplinary research team. Quantitative Research, 6(2), 131-149. Retrieved from

Nissani, M. (1997). Ten cheers for interdisciplinarity: The case for interdisciplinary knowledge and research. Social Science Journal, 34(2), 201-217. Retrieved from

Sinha, M. (2013). Spotlight on Canadians: Results from the General Social Survey, Portrait of caregivers, 2012. (Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 89-652-X — No. 001). Ottawa ON: Ministry of Industry. Retrieved from

Rosenfield, P. (1992). The potential of transdisciplinary research for sustaining and extending linkages between the health and social sciences. Social Science & Medicine, 35(11), 1343-1357.

Snow, E., Salmon, A., & Young, R. (2010). Teaching transdisciplinarity in a discipline-centred world. Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, 3, 159-165. Retrieved from

Stokols, D., Harvey, R., Gress, J., Fuqua, J., & Phillips, K. (2005). In vivo studies of transdisciplinary collaboration: Lessons learned and implications for active living research. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 28(2), 202-213. Retrieved from

Tryon, E., & Stoecker, R. (2008). The unheard voices: Community organizations and service-learning. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 12(3), 47-59. Retrieved from

Turcotte, M. (2013). Insights on Canadian society, family caregiving: What are the consequences? (Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 75-006-X). Ottawa ON: Ministry of Industry. Retrieved from

Wasser, J., & Bresler, L. (1996). Working in the interpretive zone: Conceptualizing collaboration in qualitative research. American Educational Research Association, 25(5), 5-15. Retrieved from



How to Cite

Martin, M., Eales, J., Fast, J., Florentino, C., & Strickfaden, M. (2020). The Value of Collaborating with Undergraduate Students on an Interdisciplinary Project. Journal of Student Research, 9(1).



Research Articles