Even though interdisciplinarity has been constantly debated and supported during faculty meetings at RIT, still, academic programs confine themselves into silos, hampering student integration. The struggle to effectively collaborate becomes evident in the existent on campus initiatives that challenge students from different disciplines to work together. The consequence is the under-utilization of the students' potential which leads to mediocre outcomes.

This thesis investigated main collaboration problems typical of groups seeking to problem-solve such as groupthink, production blocking, social loafing and social anxiety. These issues were studied in the academic context through a user-centered methodology that involved observations and interviews with college students. The proposed solution integrated user experience (UX) methods with social psychology’s research findings and game design dynamics into a toolkit constituted of both digital and tangible components that complemented each other to offer an interactive and immersive experience. The purpose of the toolkit was to provide a fluid framework to guide teams seeking innovation in order to leverage student collaborations and thus promote a truly academic synergy that is likely to lead to more innovative ideas and solutions.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Interdisciplinary approach in education--Interactive multimedia--Design; Teams in the workplace--Interactive multimedia--Design

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Visual Communication Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CIAS)


Daniel DeLuna

Advisor/Committee Member

Chris Jackson

Advisor/Committee Member

Lorrie Frear


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at LB2361 .D4 2016


RIT – Main Campus