Students Working in Interdisciplinary Groups (SWIG)

AAC&U Collaborative Assignments and Projects (CAP): “Collaborative learning combines two key goals: learning to work and solve problems in the company of others, and sharpening one’s own understanding by listening seriously to the insights of others, especially those with different backgrounds and life experiences. Approaches range from study groups within a course, to team-based assignments and writing, to cooperative projects and research.” (From

SWIG: Students Working in Interdisciplinary Groups (originally known as Student Wiki Interdisciplinary Group) promotes integrative, collaborative learning across participating classes. Students from courses in different disciplines use technology (usually a wiki) to collaborate and exchange ideas asynchronously, while learning to recognize and apply different disciplinary lenses in their thinking. SWIG assignments move the classes from a teacher-centered to a student-centered space where peers are the audience for learning and dialogue.

Learning Outcomes: SWIG projects are designed to reinforce the College's general education learning outcomes.

Students in SWIG courses are also likely to derive the additional benefit of developing the following skills:

  • Use available technologies to collaborate asynchronously to complete tasks.
  • Apply key words and concepts of course discipline while acknowledging the perspective of the collaborating course discipline.
  • Produce meaningful visual and/or textual commentary about other students’ work and feedback in a timely manner.
  • Articulate how they contribute to and learn from the interdisciplinary collaboration.


If you are interested in joining SWIG, learning more about our projects and assignments, or participating in our FIG (Faculty Inquiry Group) please contact Kathleen Wentrack, Art & Design, at or Alisa Cercone, English, at


At its inception, the SWIG Project partnered English and Basic Educational Skills courses with an additional content course (currently in the following disciplines: Art & Design, Business, Education, Massage Therapy, Nursing, Social Sciences and Speech/Theatre). While partnerships may now involve two or three courses, the goals remain the same. SWIG projects create a shared student-centered space through technology (originally Epsilen’s Academic web platform, now Blackboard or other technologies) which allows students to electronically archive and share their written, visual, aural compositions and research in a multi-media format with others. This cornerstone/virtual learning community experience assists students in meeting general educational objectives such as developing effective reading, writing, and speaking skills, as well as honing critical thinking while they are making connections across disciplines as well as in a social/academic network. The sense of belonging to the academic community is enhanced through the meaning-making process.


Sample Syllabi and Rubrics

Value Project Rubric on Integrative Education
Value Project Rubric on Integrative Education

Visual Rubric
Rubric for Project with Surveys
Rubric for Integration

Conference Presentations

Lynch, B., Wentrack, K., Srivastava, A., Byas, T., and Cercone, A. (2017 January).  Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Learning: Designing Projects that Utilize Technology for Asynchronous Student-Centered Learning. Bridging the Gap Through Evidence-Based Practices- Annual Conference on Community College Excellence, Bronx Community College, NY.

Byas, T., and Cercone, A. (2016, October). Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Learning: A Model for 21st Century Pedagogy. Community College Humanities Association Eastern Division Conference. Reimagining the Humanities: Tradition, Today, Tomorrow, Biltmore Hotel, Providence, RI.

Wentrack, K., Lynch, B., Cercone, A., and Srivastava, A.  (2016, May). Practicing What We Preach: An Interdisciplinary Model of Faculty Collaboration that Enhances Student Learning.  CUNY CUE Conference at Hostos Community College, Bronx, NY. 

Miller, B., Atik, A., and Geismar, A. (2016, April). Moving Through Surveillance: An English and Dance Collaboration. Transitions and Transactions III: Literature and Journalism Pedagogies in Community Colleges Today, Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York, NY.

Cercone, A., Lynch, B., Abbott, J., Wentrack, K., and Byas, T. (2016, March). Students Working in Interdisciplinary Groups (SWIG): An Interdisciplinary Model. Tri-State Best Practices Conference, Bergen Community College, Lyndhurst, NJ. 

Byas, T. and Cercone, A. (2016, February) HIPs and Technology:  A Peer Mentoring Journey. The International Conference on E-Education, E-Business, E-Management, and E-Learning (IC4E), Jakarta, Indonesia.

Golebiewska, U., Miller, B., and Ward, L.  (2016, January).  Students Working in Interdisciplinary Groups (SWIG): An Interdisciplinary Model that Fosters Student-Centered Learning and Uses Embedded Librarians. Winter Conference at Bronx Community College, Bronx, NY

Wentrack, K. and Abbott, J.  (2016, January). Students Working in Interdisciplinary Groups (SWIG): An Interdisciplinary Education Model Using Media Literacy and Peer-Led Learning. 2016 Best Practices Showcase: Celebrating Technology Innovation for Hispanic Success in Higher Education. Hispanic Education Technology Services, San Juan, PR.

Abbott, J. and Lynch B. (2016, January) Virtual and Actual Learning Communities in the Same Classrooms: A Case Study of Multiple High Impact Practices. 2016 Best Practices Showcase: Celebrating Technology Innovation for Hispanic Success in Higher Education. Hispanic Education Technology Services, San Juan, PR.

Abbott, J. (2016, January).  Best Practice: Against the Grain, Using Technology, Social Media, and Creative Writing Pedagogy to Retain and Engage Hispanic Students in Freshman Composition.  2016 Best Practices Showcase: Celebrating Technology Innovation for Hispanic Success in Higher Education. Hispanic Education Technology Services, San Juan, PR.

Atik, A., Miller, B. and Geismar, A. (2015, September). Liberatory Movements: Integrated Learning for Social Awareness. 2015 Best Practices in Academic Technology Conference at Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn, NY.

Lynch, B., Wentrack, K., Miller, B. and Cercone, A.  (2015, May).  Students Working in Interdisciplinary Groups at Queensborough Community College: Best Practices for Collaboration and Integrative Learning. CUNY CUE Conference at City College, New York, NY.   

Geismar, A., Miller, B., and Atik, A. (2015, March) Translating Lived Experience through English and Dance Collaborations. University of Connecticut’s 10th Annual Conference on the Teaching of Writing, Stors, CT.

Byas, T. and Cercone, A.  (2014, November).  Using High Impact Practices to Engage Students in Composition Courses to Produce Multimodal Literary Projects.  Story as the Landscape of Knowing. National Council of Teachers of English 104th Annual Convention, Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, Washington D.C.


The material below is an archive of SWIG activities that occurred when faculty were participating in the grant-funded project MAeP (Moving Ahead with ePortfolio).

FA12-SWIG Survey#1 Link to Survey

FA12-SWIG Survey#2 Link to Survey

FA12-SWIG Survey#3 Link to Survey

C2L Student Survey Link to C2L Survey

C2L Faculty Survey Link to Survey


  • A: If you are CITI Certified request a form from Trikartikaningsih Byas

Faculty Publications

Campus Cultural Centers

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QCC Art Gallery

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