Wicked Problems Require Interdisciplinary Solutions: The 10-Week Sprint to Create an Innovative Incoming-Student Experience

On Demand
Session Type: Breakout Session
Delivery Format: On-Demand

In the middle of a pandemic, we created a new, online, interdisciplinary course about pandemics for all incoming students (4,800) in the span of 10 weeks, coordinating 28 instructors representing 37 disciplines into a cohesive experience that made students want to be part of the university, despite some hesitancy about enrolling when the college experience was not going to be the face-to-face experience students and parents imagined. We will share the story of how we accomplished what at first felt impossible: the creation (from scratch) of a free, two-credit-hour interdisciplinary course that would get students excited about being part of the WolfPack family, even in uncertain times, and become the model, moving forward, for a shared incoming-student experience that addresses wicked problems—those that transcend any one discipline and require a collaborative framework to address. In this session, we will cover the impetus for this course within the context of the pandemic and the need for innovative pedagogical approaches, as well as the how-to's—in other words, how did we pull together multiple workgroups comprised of subject-matter experts in instructional design, multimedia, video production, project management, communications and assessment to get this done? We will give a tour of the process and the outcome (showing you the course), as well as provide lessons learned and an exciting preview of what’s next!


  • Christopher Beeson

  • Todd Buker

    Associate Producer, North Carolina State University
  • Rich Gurnsey

    Lead Multimedia Designer, North Carolina State University
  • Cathi Phillips Dunnagan

    Senior Instructional Designer, North Carolina State University