The Digital HealthLab: Supporting Interdisciplinary Projects in Engineering and in Health Education

  • Ilona Heldal
  • Carsten Helgesen Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
Keywords: interdisciplinary education, technology development, technology use, engineering, health and social care, processes, collaboration


The importance of promoting interdisciplinary educations is recognized, however, initiating collaborative interdisciplinary educational projectsis challenging. In this paper,we will present the Digital HealthLab(DHLab),an educational module thatintend to define systematic support for students who wished to work with interdisciplinary projects in their bachelor or master thesis. The students were from computing and from health and social care, and their projects influenced byissues regarding technology development and use. By presenting DHLab, we aim to contribute to a deeper understanding of initiating interdisciplinary education at universities. Data was collectedduring the initiation and evaluation of DHLab from observations and group interviews. The DHLabwas an optional, yearly educational module. We will illustrate lessons learned, and challenges and benefits with the module. Our experiences are important to highlight since there are limited knowledge on starting and running interdisciplinary educational modules in areas without local collaboration traditions. Our results showed that using processes for planning educational activities was essential to understand needs, requirements, and possibilities from the different types of educators. However, future research is neededto determine key activities systematically supporting the start of interdisciplinary student projects with focus on the role of the different participating environments.

How to Cite
Heldal, I., & Helgesen, C. (2018). The Digital HealthLab: Supporting Interdisciplinary Projects in Engineering and in Health Education. Journal of Applied Technical and Educational Sciences, 8(4), 4-21.
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