Dear Members of the Interdisciplinary Community of Practice,

In preparation for the coming academic year we are putting together a list of activities related to interdisciplinary that we would like to invite you to participate in as a presenter!

Please see the dates and list of topics below.

Note that we are open to a variety of different (presentation) formats ranging from panel discussions, directed readings, stand-and-deliver lectures, group workshop, or other setups you think might work well.

PowerPoint will of course be available but we can also provide other presentation mediums (e.g. flipchart, whiteboard, TV, internet) for each meeting topic.

We have taken your feedback from our last meeting (April 29, 2014) to structure our activities, and our hope is that this notice will allow as many of you to participate as possible.

We invite you to submit your willingness to participate, the session you think you would like to contribute to, and some brief ideas of how you think the session might be best organized.
The Interdisciplinary Community of Practice (ICoP) is a diverse volunteer network of faculty, staff, and students across UBC who seek to support each other in our ability to teach and learn in this area.

Please take a minute to look at the proposed plans for 2014-2015 and send an email to ctlt.icop@ubc.ca with your expression of interest. A more complete and updated version of the 2014-2015 activities will be circulated in advance of the beginning of the Fall Term.

In kind regards,

The ICoP Co-Facilitators
Jackie Davis, Adriana Sedeno and Conor Douglas

September 25th (Thursday)
Topic: What is interdisciplinarity?
Time: 3:00-4:30pm
Place: I.K. Barber Learning Center Room 2.22A

Details: For the kick-off meeting of the academic year and the new ICoP structure we invite participants to help us explore the meaning of ‘interdisciplinarity’. There are many neologisms that are often conflated with interdisciplinarity (i.e. multidisciplinary, crossdisciplinary, nondisciplinary, transdisciplinary) it is our hope to explore what interdisciplinarity is, and what sets it apart –if anything- from other practices.

October 30th (Thursday)
Topic: Facilitating interdisciplinary exchanges across classrooms
Time: 3:00-4:30pm
Place: I.K. Barber Learning Center Room 2.22A

Details: This session looks to explore how can teaching and learning benefit from interdisciplinary exchanges. The hope is that our community can reflect on successful interdisciplinary teaching collaborations, and lay some structural ground work -in the form of information exchange and matchmaking- of how interdisciplinary teaching exchanges across UBC can be facilitated.

November 27th (Thursday)
Topic: Designing interdisciplinary curriculum
Time: 3:00-4:30pm
Place: I.K. Barber Learning Center Room 2.22A

Details: Our hope is that this session will provide some direction or best practices for interdisciplinary curriculum design, and help participants to identify early-on the challenges of such as task.

December – NO MEETING

January 29th (Thursday)
Topic: Models for interdisciplinary teaching
Time: 3:00-4:30pm
Place: I.K. Barber Learning Center Room 2.22A

Details: There is no one correct way for teaching in an interdisciplinary context. What is more, interdisciplinarity presents particular challenges in teaching and learning. Our hope is that this session will open up discussions on different ways of interdisciplinary teaching, and raise awareness of how participants might be able to navigate this specific kind of instruction.

February 26th (Thursday)
Topic: Assessment/evaluation of interdisciplinary projects/courses

Time: 3:00-4:30pm
Place: I.K. Barber Learning Center Room 2.22A
Details: Teaching interdisciplinarity can be a challenge, but one way of helping can be conducting interdisciplinary projects. Our hope is that this session will not only explore how to set-up these projects, but more specifically our goals is how to explore how assessment can take place within interdisciplinary courses (and the projects there within).

April 30th (Thursday)
Topic: Administrative challenges of interdisciplinary teaching and learning.
Time: 3:00-4:30pm
Place: I.K. Barber Learning Center Room 2.22A

Details: The pedagogy of interdisciplinary teaching and learning is not the only challenge faced by instructors interested in interdisciplinairity. This session will explore some of the tasks that take place outside of the classroom that are relevant to interdisciplinary teaching. This includes balancing teaching load across faculties (and the concurrent budget implications), and UBC’s position on interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

May 28th (Thursday)
Topic: Linking interdisciplinary research and teaching
Time: 3:00-4:30pm
Place: I.K. Barber Learning Center Room 2.22A

Details: The three missions of the university are teaching, research, and community service, and it is broadly understood that these missions are best realized when there is a connection between them. This final ICoP session of the academic year will focus on how an academic’s research can be brought into the classroom, and the particular issues that are faced when doing so in an interdisciplinary context.


June 24th – Journal Club on interdisciplinary teaching and team teaching:

CTLT’s SoTL Journal Club offers a space to discuss literature on scholarship of teaching and learning. This meeting will be hosted by the Interdisciplinary Community of Practice co-facilitators Adriana Sedeno and Conor Douglas. We will discuss the article below that deals with both interdisciplinary teaching and team teaching:

Barisonzi, J., & Thorn, M. (2003). Teaching revolution: Issues in interdisciplinary education. College Teaching, 51(1), 5-8.
Please visit the event’s page here to register, find the reading, and questions.

Jun 24, 2014
1:00pm – 2:00pm
Irving K Barber Learning Centre – Room 2.13


Minutes from ICoP Cafe Meeting

Hello everyone!

The previous ICoP meeting was very productive and we are very glad you joined us!

Here is the a brief summary of what we achieved.

We will discuss these and other topics throughout the incoming months!

If you could not attend, but would also like to participate and give us suggestions, please feel welcomed to do so!

PDF FILE: ICOP minutes April 29, 2014


ICoP Cafe – April 29, 2014

Please join us for the ICoP Cafe to enjoy coffee, cookies, and conversation about how the ICoP can support your interdisciplinary teaching and learning. At the meeting, we will introduce our new ICoP co-facilitators: Adriana Sedeno and Conor Douglas. This event is open to anyone in the UBC teaching and learning community. Please feel free to bring your colleagues who may be interested in the ICoP.

Date: April 29, 2014
Time: 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Place: Irving K Barber Learning Centre – Seminar Room 2.22A
Registration: http://events.ctlt.ubc.ca/events/view/3267



ICoP February Meeting Minutes

The ICoP February meeting took place at the Seminar Room at CTLT on February 12, 2014.

1. Welcomed new faces to the iCoP.


2. The call was put out for a new co-facilitator to work with community members to develop and plan iCoP events. There was a creative conversation around ways to facilitate interdisciplinary conversations in this community of practice. (To get involved as a volunteer ICoP co-facilitator, please send a brief statement of interest and qualifications to current ICoP facilitators, Hanae Tsukada (ctlt.prodev@ubc.ca) and Jacqueline Davis (jad310@mail.harvard.edu).


3. Our guest presenter was Jennifer Xenakis from Pathology & Laboratory Medicine who discussed how inviting an outside lecturer can contribute to the value of a course which in this case was on toxicology.

Jennifer spoke from her breadth of experience as an educator. She began by taking the perspective of today’s students who often ask, “Why should I attend classes when I can learn online?” The added value of the classroom, Jennifer pointed out, is interaction with others and learning to work together. An instructor should not only teach material, but has a moral obligation to create an environment conducive to positive change. To facilitate interactive learning, an instructor needs interdisciplinary tools to help a diverse group of students connect with each other, open their minds, and break down the silos of disciplinarity that can impose limitations on bigger thinking. An instructor can model bigger thinking herself by recognizing that there are things she doesn’t know and bringing in an expert as a guest teacher.

For her course on toxicology, students learned about biological and chemical toxins and their uses in terrorist attacks. Jennifer brought in Dr. Richard Price professor of Political Science at UBC specializing in international conflict, peacekeeping, and security. To help students apply their understanding of biological and chemical weapons, Dr. Price will be preparing and delivering a lecture/interactive session with students March 2015. Using skills previously learned in the course, students work collaboratively in small groups to compile a literature review to critically analyze the biological or chemical weapon designated to their group and prepare and present a 20 minute presentation on the topic while their classmates prepare thoughtful questions for the presentations.

Having guest lecturers come and interact with students adds more value to their physically being in the classroom and can help make their education feel more worthwhile.

~ Thank you, Jennifer!

4. Networking time over coffee, tea, and cookies!



RMES 500L: Interdisciplinary Research: Opportunities and Challenges

An interdisciplinary research course will be offered by Dr. Gunilla Öberg at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainabilitystarting from this February. It will run part-time during the winter term (four 3-hour meetings on Mondays in Feb-March, exact dates TBD) plus four full-day meetings in April-May (exact dates TBD). Please see more course information at: http://ires.ubc.ca/graduate-courses/ (Please scroll down to RMES500L)




February ICoP Meeting

Our first Interdisciplinary Community of Practice meeting for the new term will be on Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 2:30-4:30pm, at the Seminar Room at CTLT. Please come join the meeting to meet new and old community members from across the disciplines. This session will include a brief presentation by Jennifer Xenakis from Pathology & Laboratory Medicine discussing the process involved in adding a new interdisciplinary lecture into a pre-existing toxicology curriculum. Bring your colleagues, your ideas for interdisciplinary activities, and curiosity and enthusiasm for building interdisciplinary into your courses!

Please see the event details and register at: http://events.ctlt.ubc.ca/events/view/3169

We are still looking for new ICoP facilitators. This role will offer you great opportunities for leadership, facilitation, networking, and more. Please check out the Cofacilitator role description, ICoP for details. We will talk about this opportunity at the February meeting. You can ask any questions about the role at the meeting, or please feel free to contact us with interest or questions if you cannot make it to the meeting. Our contact is in the document.

Looking forward to seeing many of you at the meeting!


Interdisciplinary Events & Conferences

Hello ICoP members,

Before you take off for holidays, please check out the following interdisciplinary events and share with your colleagues, peers, and students who may be interested.

UBC Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Network (iGSN) End-of-Term Party

Date/Time: December 6, 2013, 7pm-

Place: Graduate Student Centre, UBC

Call for Papers: Asian Studies Graduate Student Conference at University of Hawaii at Manoa

Pushing Boundaries, Shifting Perspectives: Remapping Asia and the Pacific Through a Transnational Interdisciplinary Lens

Deadline: January 8, 2014

Call for Abstracts: UBC/UW graduate student conference on Asian studies

Changing Vistas: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Asia Pacific

Deadline: January 15, 2014

FIREtalk: Creativity and Innovation

Date/Time: January 29, 2014, 4-6pm

Place: UBC (Room to be announced)





ICoP November Meeting Follow-Up & Announcements

ICoP November Meeting – Thank-You’s

Guest speakers and ICoP co-facilitators (from left): Jacqueline Davis, Hillel Goelman, Kevin Mehr, Hanae Tsukada

Our ICoP November meeting was another success with inspiring speakers, new and familiar participants, and great discussions! We would like to reiterate our appreciation for the guest speakers, Dr. Hillel Goelman and Kevin Mehr representing the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program (ISGP) and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Network (iGSN) respectively, as well as for those who came to the meeting. We highly recommend those of you who couldn’t make it to the meeting to check out these vibrant and resourceful interdisciplinary groups, if you don’t know them yet.

ICoP Co-Facilitator Position Open

Because of the lively discussions at the meeting, we ran out of time to make an announcement about an ICoP co-facilitator position. Because Hanae’s role as an ICoP facilitator has been interim, we are looking for an interdisciplinary enthusiast to work with the other co-facilitator, Jackie. This role will offer you great opportunities for leadership, facilitation, networking, and more. Please check out the Cofacilitator role description for details and contact us with interest or questions. Our contact is in the document.

Out of the Box: Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Conference – Call for Abstracts

Please note that the proposal submission deadline for the Out of the Box conference is approaching on November 30th. The conference will be on March 21, 2014 at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, UBC.

ICoP February 2014 Meeting

Please mark your calender for our next ICoP meeting on Wednesday, February 12th, 2014, 2:30-4:30pm. Please watch out for more details to come. In the meantime, please contact us with a suggestion or idea for our future meeting in February or after, and we wish you the best with the rest of the term and happy holidays!

Jackie Davis & Hanae Tsukada, ICoP Co-Facilitators


ICoP November Meeting

Date: Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Time: 2:30-4:30pm
Place: Fraser River Room, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

Registration: http://events.ctlt.ubc.ca/events/view/3029

We are pleased to announce our second meeting of the term! At this meeting we will have two distinguished guests present on interdisciplinarity at UBC:

  • Kevin Mehr, a 4th-year PhD student in Genome Science & Technology, is the president of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Network (iGSN), the vibrant student-governed organization that formed upon the closure of the College for Interdisciplinary Studies http://igsnubc.wordpress.com/.
  • Dr. Hillel Goelman is the director of the dynamic Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program (ISGP) in the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies that has enabled students to design their own degrees and conduct interdisciplinary research at UBC for 40 years http://isgp.ubc.ca/

You are warmly invited to join us for coffee, cookies, and conversation as we expand our understanding of the Interdisciplinary happening right here on campus.