The Common Problems Project An Interdisciplinary, Community-Engaged, Problem-Based Pedagogy

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James Liszka
Robert Card
Patricia Clark
Kimberly J Coleman
Eric Leibensperger
Bruce Mattingly
Mary McGuire
Joshua Nollenberg
Kjersti Vanslyke-Briggs
Leigh Wilson


The Common Problems Project (CP2) is an interdisciplinary, problem-based pedagogy that was launched in 2015 by four partner colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system (Cortland, Oneonta, Oswego, and Plattsburgh). Since its inception, 100 faculty have participated in CP2 and integrated the pedagogy into 134 courses to implement 47 collaborative projects. CP2 is based on a simple but innovative approach in which instructors from different disciplines identify a real-world problem they have in common. They pair their relevant existing classes so that students can work in interdisciplinary teams to propose solutions to the problem. This paper describes CP2 and its theoretical underpinnings, provides the results of a three-pronged approach to assessment, and outlines recommendations for faculty and institutions who may be interested in replicating CP2 on their campuses. CP2 model holds promise for a future of collaborative problem solving as a pedagogical approach, and, as such, this article will be of interest to a wide range of scholars, practitioners, educators, and administrators.


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Liszka, J., Card, R., Clark, P., Coleman, K. J., Leibensperger, E., Mattingly, B., McGuire, M., Nollenberg, J., Vanslyke-Briggs, K., & Wilson, L. (2022). The Common Problems Project: An Interdisciplinary, Community-Engaged, Problem-Based Pedagogy. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 22(2).
Case Studies
Author Biographies

James Liszka, SUNY Plattsburgh




Robert Card, SUNY Oswego




Patricia Clark, SUNY Oswego




Eric Leibensperger, Ithaca College





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