Share, Adopt, Adapt: Teaching in an Interdisciplinary Context

  • Date:
  • Time: 12:00 to 13:00
  • Location: Wharfedale Room, Dales Building - Careers Centre, 5-7 Cromer Terrace

WORKING EFFECTIVELY across disciplines and what that means for student learning will be the focus of the next LITE Share, Adopt, Adapt session.

LITE’s Dr Scott McLaughlin and Dr Cathy Coombs will lead the seminar which will explore both what interdisciplinary working means in practice, and how does teaching across disciplines translate to student learning.

Dr McLaughlin said: “The university sector places a lot of value on researchers being able to work and collaborate across disciplines, but the art of making the leap across disciplines is rarely explicitly addressed.

My project aims to start future-researchers thinking early about what it means to work across disciplines, their expectations, possible-pitfalls, and strategies for success.

“I’m developing an online resource to support interdisciplinary learning, especially in modules where students are working across different schools, or are expected to engage with materials that diverge from the students’ disciplinary comfort zones.

“The key pedagogy approach here mixes core readings with video breakdowns of case studies, along with opportunities for students to discuss what this means for them.”

This is the latest Share, Adapt, Adapt event organised by LITE, which showcases the research of current LITE Fellows.

Dr Coombs said: “Interdisciplinary teaching offers the opportunity for educators to question and challenge their own disciplinary boundaries and work together collaboratively.

“However, how much does a teaching design that crosses disciplines really translate to the students engaging with a module?

“Following the development in 2016-17 of an interdisciplinary blended learning module to introduce the Discovery theme Power & Conflict, our project set out to review student experience and approaches to the module.

“We wanted to ask: does interdisciplinary teaching really create interdisciplinary students? Or does it simply create an intellectual ‘pick & mix’?

“In this session, I will talk about some of our findings from the research, suggesting how a blended approach can stretch our students to work in an interdisciplinary way – but also the limitations.”

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