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.

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).


Mixing It Up! Collaborating Across the Disciplines

Need some inspiration for interdisciplinary teaching and learning? Want to find ways to make your course more interdisciplinary, or locate potential collaborators across campus? Interested in team-teaching or creating integrated assignments? Check out notes and resources from this year’s CTLT Institute session Mixing It Up: Collaborating Across the Disciplines!

On May 30th, a team of ten facilitators with diverse disciplinary and teaching experiences led an interactive workshop on the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinarity in the classroom. Together facilitators and registrants shared best practices, lessons learned, and ideas in development. How can you engage in interdisciplinary teaching and enrich your students learning?

The CTLT Institute offers opportunities to network with other educators, share experiences and practice, and explore possibilities for teaching and learning. Check out some highlights for the thoughtful interdisciplinary practitioner:

Click here for a complete list of Institute events.


UBC Mix Community Portal

UBC Mix is pleased to announce the launch of the UBC Mix Community Portal on the UBC Wiki. At our Mixer event in April 2011, attendees suggested some ways to improve the communication side of the program. The general consensus: UBC Mix needed “technology for people to throw out ideas and look for people.”  At that event, the UBC Wiki was put forward as a possible platform. After exploring our options, we’ve worked in consultation with the UBC Wiki team to get the ball rolling on a community portal that will fill those needs.

On the Community Portal you can browse profiles for potential matches, create your own, check out examples of previous Mixes, access relevant scholarship and case studies, and most importantly, log in using your CWL to add and edit content! If the UBC Mix website is our storefront, we like to think of the Community Portal as the UBC Mix kitchen – a collaborative, creative space for sharing.

The simplest way to get involved is to create a profile. There are several ways to do it.  Depending on your comfort level with the UBC Wiki you can either use our template to create your own profile, or simply download and return a profile request form and we’ll do the rest. The portal contains instructions, examples and help pages.

We eventually envision populating the portal not only with profiles, but also with even more examples, case studies, advice and scholarly materials. We welcome your contributions to the portal. Either sign in and edit away, or contact us, let us know what you want to see, and we’ll work on a way to make it happen.

Finally, for folks new to the UBC Wiki, there is free, friendly support available. The UBC Mix Student Coordinator is always happy to help, so don’t hesitate to get in touch. As of summer 2011, she is even making “office calls” to help you get started. Simply email ubc-mix@interchange.ubc.ca to make an appointment. Also consider checking out the Learning Technology Institute (LTI) event listings at the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT).  The LTI regularly includes Wiki workshops for all levels. Drop in Wiki Support Clinics are held in the CTLT Fraser River Room in Irving K. Barber Learning Centre every Thursday from 1:00-3:00.

See you on the Portal!

Quick links:

Photo credits: tin can by colindunn, portal logo by Lydia Jones (image credits: mosaic by RBerteig schematic by webtreats books by austinevan flowers by cobalt123 test tubes by Daniel*1977)