Assessing Interdisciplinary Learning and Student Activism in a Water Issues Course

Stephen J. Juris, Anja Mueller, Cathy Willermet, Eron Drake, Samik Upadhaya, Pratik Chhetri


In response to a request from a campus student organization, faculty from three fields came together to develop and teach an integrated interdisciplinary course on water issues and social activism. This course, “Water as Life, Death, and Power”, brought together issues from the fields of anthropology, biology and chemistry to explore water rights, access to clean water, and water treatment methods. Students enrolled in the course developed interdisciplinary projects related to a variety of local and global water issues to present real-world solutions at a university-wide student research showcase. This article reports the assessment outcomes of the course, measuring changes in both interdisciplinary learning and levels of student activism.


Course design; interdisciplinary assessment; water issues; student activism

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ISSN 1527-9316