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Master of Health Science Student’s Research Demonstrates Value of Transdisciplinary Studies

Over the summer, Boise State’s Foundational Studies Program completed an assessment and course revision of the transfer student course, University Foundations (UF) 300.  The revised course, “Personal Responsibility in a Global Community: Create, Innovate, Problem Solve,” focuses on ethics and diversity through innovative problem solving.  UF300 draws on students’ past experiences and expertise to create ingenious solutions to real-world problems.  A component of the revision process included the use of evidenced gathered by Alexis Kenyon, a student in the Master of Health Science program and academic advisor for Boise State’s Multidisciplinary Studies Program.  Her efforts provided a valuable student perspective and tested an evaluation protocol that could be used for other university assessment activities.

The purpose of the study conducted by Kenyon was to assess the value of the course from the student perspective.  In addition, her research sought to identify whether the content of the course challenged students to move to the next level (i.e., upper division coursework, work, and/or graduate school). Findings from her mixed methods research approach revealed statistically significant differences in pre- and post-course perceptions of ability and experience with University Learning Outcomes (ULO).  Qualitative results demonstrated an overall positive perception of the course and classroom observations found high levels of student engagement.  Her findings also suggested potential changes that could be made to the curriculum to further enhance engagement and perceived value in the course.

Kenyon’s research, conducted with the assistance of Riley Caldwell-O’Keefe and Vicki Stieha, Foundational Studies Program, and Sarah Toevs, Master of Health Science Program, demonstrates the value of transdisciplinary student and faculty engagement in assessment and program development activities.

If you want further information about this or other Foundational Studies Program courses or are interested in Alexis Kenyon’s full study please contact Caldwell-O’Keefe at

More information about the course is available here: