Upcoming Meeting: April 25, 2013

Greetings, interdisciplinary enthusiasts!

We look forward to seeing you at the next Interdisciplinary Community of Practice (ICoP) meeting. At this meeting, we will look ahead to the 2013/2014 school year:

  • Mix strategies: Natalie Baloy (UBC Mix Coordinator) will discuss how you can develop your own interdisciplinary events and partnerships using Mix strategies
  • Interdisciplinary teaching techniques: We will explore how to adapt teaching and discussion techniques to interdisciplinary learning settings
  • ICoP next year: You’ll meet Victoria Wood (College of Health Disciplines), the new co-facilitator for the ICoP with Hanae Tsukada from CTLT, and we’ll discuss topics for ICoP meetings in 2013/2014
  • Networking: And there will be ample time for cross-disciplinary networking!
Here are the event details:

  • Date: Thursday, April 25th
  • Time: 10am-12pm
  • Location: Room 2.22 in the Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (Irving K. Barber Learning Centre)
  • Please bring: Colleagues or someone you’d like to meet from another discipline, and interdisciplinary ideas for next year
  • Please register: http://events.ctlt.ubc.ca/events/view/2433
See you there!
Natalie, Hanae, and Victoria

Meeting Notes: March 4, 2013

On Monday, March 4th, the ICoP met to discuss to how to promotes interdisciplinary thinking in the classroom.

After a brief round of introductions between veterans ICoP Members and ‘newbees’, we welcomed two guest speakers.

  • Sauder instructor Paul Cubbon will shared his experiences designing COMM 486S/JRNL 520A, a new course on social media, and many other interdisciplinary courses he has helped to create. COMM 486s/JRNL 520A is cross-listed in Commerce and Journalism and is co-taught by Cubbon and Alfred Hermida. (Click here to see Dr. Cubbon’s UBC TedX Talk.)  Paul gave an energetic and inspiring presentation on how to work within and around structural challenges to build innovative interdisciplinary courses. For advice and techniques, check out Paul’s Handout (pdf).
  • Karla Pollmann, visiting scholar from the University of Kent, has been conducting research this year at UBC for a project entitled, “Go Beyond Boundaries: Designing an Interdisciplinary Graduate Teaching Programme.” She has been observing the different forms of interdisciplinarity at UBC. She share some of her reflections so far with us, noting that UBC Mix offers an innovative “grassroots” model that could be taken up by universities in the UK and Europe. She distinguished between different forms of interdisciplinary education and institutional support, from student-driven to teacher-driven models, program-based models, and short vs. longterm approaches. For summaries of these different forms, see Karla’s Handout (pdf).

After Paul and Karla’s helpful presentations, the remainder of the meeting was devoted to networking and casual sharing about past, current, and future interdisciplinary efforts.

Our next meeting is scheduled for April 25, 2013. See you there!


Designing Interdisciplinary Learning Activities

Join us for an Interdisciplinary Community of Practice meeting!

Date: Monday, March 4th

Time: 2:30-4:30pm

Location: Seminar Room 2.22 – Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology

Please registerhttp://events.ctlt.ubc.ca/events/view/2273

How can you promote interdisciplinary thinking in your classroom? At this ICoP meeting we will explore how to design effective interdisciplinary courses and learning activities. Building from our last session on assessing interdisciplinary learning, we will discuss how to adapt and alter existing approaches to lesson design to encourage students to think across disciplines.

Sauder instructor Paul Cubbon will join us to share his experiences designing COMM 486S/JRNL 520A, a new course on social media. The course is cross-listed in Commerce and Journalism and is co-taught by Cubbon and Alfred Hermida. Paul will discuss the development of the course and lessons he is learning in its first term. (Click here to see Dr. Cubbon’s UBC TedX Talk.)

For the remainder of the meeting, we will brainstorm how to adapt different teaching techniques to enhance interdisciplinary learning. Please bring a question or example of your interdisciplinary teaching efforts to share with the group.

About the Interdisciplinary Community of Practice (ICoP): The ICoP emerged out of enthusiasm for UBC Mix, a project that supports classroom-level collaborations between two or more courses for interdisciplinary lessons. Scholars of higher education are increasingly recognizing the value of interdisciplinary thinking. The ICoP provides a space to think collectively about the practice and pedagogy of interdisciplinary teaching and learning at UBC. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact facilitators Natalie Baloy (ubc-mix@interchange.ubc.ca) and Hanae Tsukada (ctlt.prodev@ubc.ca).


ICoP: Assessment and Evaluation (November 5, 2012)

At the November 5th meeting of the Interdisciplinary Community of Practice, we addressed issues relating to assessing and evaluating interdisciplinary learning. Hanae Tsukada and Natalie Baloy co-facilitated the meeting.

After a brief round of introductions, we learned about mechanisms of interdisciplinary assessment from the following community members:

  • David Brownstein (Geography/Canadian Studies): Ritsumeikan University/UBC exchange – LLED/ISC overlapping assignment
  • Mike van der Loos (Engineering): Engineering Capstone course and student reflections
  • Catherine Douglas (Economics): Designing Mix on homelessness with community partners, student reflections
Many thanks to these presenters!

In addition to speakers’ remarks, we discussed Bloom’s Taxonomy (see links below) and how to adapt learning objectives to interdisciplinary contexts. The following resources were available:

These resources are also available at this Dropbox link. If you have resources about interdisciplinary teaching and learning, please send them to mix.ubc@gmail.com. Be sure to use and build our Wiki resource portal as well!
Thank you for participating in our meeting! It is exciting to see this new community develop and grow.

INQUIRY Learning Opportunities

The Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, also known as the Berger Inquiry, involved over two years of community testimony and legal hearings that addressed the social, environmental, and economic impacts of a proposed gas pipeline in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Representatives from Aboriginal communities, lawyers, business people, workers, and other constituency groups voiced their various concerns, objections, and support for the project. The INQUIRY exhibit includes Inquiry transcripts, stories, and photographs.

Students, staff, and faculty can engage with the exhibit in a number of ways:

  • Workshops: Curator and former journalist Drew Ann Wake will offer tailored workshops with courses from across campus to review the collected evidence and engage in role play from various Inquiry perspectives. Ms. Wake, with co-organizer Amy Perrault, has also invited several key individuals from the Inquiry to meet with students. Ms. Wake is consulting with faculty to design sessions that draw on course objectives and bridge in key concepts the project highlights.
  • Plenary session: On the morning of November 13th, Glen Coulthard, Julie Cruikshank, and Alestine Andre INSERT POSITIONS/CONNECTIONS TO BERGER INQUIRY HERE will speak about the political, social, educational, and historical dimensions of the Berger Inquiry and its legacies. INSERT LOCATION/TIME DETAILS HERE
  • CTLT Workshop: The Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology is hosting a guided workshop and facilitated conversation around the exhibit’s themes and teaching/learning potential. Faculty and TAs are especially encouraged to attend. (For more details and to register, click here.)
  • Student Research Collective: An interdisciplinary student research collective is developing around themes highlighted in the exhibit and relevant to a number of contemporary processes: Aboriginal community consultation, resource extraction, sustainable development, current pipeline projects, non-renewable energies.

Green College Interdisciplinary Lecture Series

Check out the current listings of interdisciplinary series at Green College, consult the Calendar of Events for further details, or sign up for the event newsletter!

Each year, Green College hosts a number of lecture series that are open without charge to College members, the UBC community, and the general public. These series are presented by the College in collaboration with faculty members from UBC departments and programs who act as convenors and coordinate themes and speakers.

Interdisciplinary events typically take place at the College either before dinner or after dinner. These timings “outside typical classroom and business hours” are in keeping with the extracurricular nature of the College’s academic programming, and are intended to make it easy for those who attend the talks to join the speakers and College residents for dinner.


New! Community of Practice

You’re invited to the first gathering of the Interdisciplinary Community of Practice!

When? Wednesday, September 12th
What time? 10-11:30am
Where? The Lillooet Room (301) in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

Why should you attend?
This meeting will address the question “How can I make my existing course more interdisciplinary?” It will offer you an opportunity to connect with instructors in other disciplines to find ways of embedding interdisciplinarity in your teaching practice. It will also create a time and space to discuss future topics for this new community of practice.

What’s a Community of Practice?
Communities of practice are groups whose members “share a passion for something they know how to do and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better” (Wenger 2006). The Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology supports Communities of Practice on a range of topics. The Interdisciplinary Community of Practice is a new community supported by participants in the UBC Mix project and others committed to interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

What’s UBC Mix?
UBC Mix facilitates partnerships between instructors, students, and courses to create interdisciplinary learning opportunities. From shared guest speakers to student-led workshops, discussion sessions to data-mashups, Mix has supported dynamic interdisciplinary education, breaking down institutional barriers across campus. The Interdisciplinary Community of Practice offers opportunities for Mix partners and other teaching practitioners to address pedagogical benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

Please RSVP!
Please let us know if you will attend! Light refreshments will be served.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?
If you have a question you would like to address in future Interdisciplinary Community of Practice meetings, please be in touch with Natalie Baloy, the UBC Mix Student Coordinator (ubc-mix@interchange.ubc.ca). If you have questions about other Communities of Practice, please contact Mali Bain, the Community of Practice developer (ctlt.copdeveloper@ubc.ca).


Student Interdisciplinary Research Clusters

UBC Mix is accepting applications to support undergraduates who would like to develop multidisciplinary research clusters.

Participating in a research cluster is a great way to get feedback on your work from other students across the disciplines and is an exciting opportunity to join a community of young scholars who are interested in issues like sustainability and society, Canadian identity, and economic inequality. In particular, UBC Mix is looking to support clusters that meet to research and discuss issues from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

To apply, simply submit a one page letter of intent to Brendan Clyde (bclyde@mail.ubc.ca) and Natalie Baloy (ubc-mix@interchange.ubc.ca). Letters of intent should include the following:

  • Applicant’s name
  • Program and year level
  • Area of research
  • Names, programs, and year levels of participating students
  • Brief outline of the work your research cluster will do.

Please feel also free to send Brendan an email to discuss your ideas, to find out how UBC Mix can support your project, and to get in touch with other students who are working in your area of study!


Consulting the Keeners: UBC Mix Student Panel

This summer, UBC Mix team member Sam Fenn is asking students how to Mix up their education. In July, he facilitated a student panel on interdisciplinarity. Participating students – the keeners, as Sam calls them – shared their insights on the values and challenges of interdisciplinary learning.

Student panelists emphasized the importance of developing interdisciplinary literacy, reaching out to the public, and addressing global problems through multidisciplinary teamwork and innovation. Read more at the Terry blog here!


You’re Invited! Student Panel on Interdisciplinarity and Student Involvement

UBC Mix is excited to invite you to our first ever panel on Interdisciplinarity and Student Involvement! This panel will be especially useful to arts and science students with a broad interest either in interdisciplinary pedagogy or global issues that have significance to both arts and science students. A complimentary lunch will be served.

Date: Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Time: 12:30 p.m.

Where: Lillooet Room in IK Barber Learning Centre

From internet security to sustainable development, from food ethics to global feminism, the issues most important to UBC students cannot be analyzed by a single discipline; they demand that we make connections with students from other departments and learn to incorporate new styles of inquiry in our work.

This is a great opportunity to be involved in a community of young scholars that thinks about these issues from a variety of perspectives. Come share your work with us, get involved in our upcoming initiatives, and meet other students with similar interests!

Please find a formal invitation attached to this email. If you have any questions or you would like to attend, send an email to UBC Mix coordinator Sam Fenn at sam.fenn@ubc.ca. We hope you will join us!

Image credit: Patricia Katchur