Proposal Title

Hijacking all the courses: a trans-disciplinary learning experience for undergraduate students

Session Type

Short and Tweet

Room

P&A Rm 150

Start Date

July 2015

Keywords

Trans-disciplinary, Community Engaged, Knowledge Translation and Transfer

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

Shoshanah R. Jacobs, Jessica Nelson, Brianna Driscoll, Daniel Gillis University of Guelph

We present Ideas Congress (ICON), a truly trans-disciplinary learning opportunity for undergraduate students at the University of Guelph. A review of interdisciplinary or trans-disciplinary research opportunities for undergraduate students in Canada revealed that programs were either 1) restricted to graduate programs or 2) not very trans-disciplinary.

Using a consultative process with faculty and administration, we designed a pilot course that focuses on the teaching of knowledge translation and transfer theory and then challenges students to apply that knowledge to solving a community problem.

ICON has three major goals:

To facilitate transdisciplinary learning and research.

To strengthen discipline specific knowledge by providing students with the appropriate platform and tools to act as teacher.

To engage students in community supported research and challenge them to make their work relevant and accessible to all stake holders.

In the first offering of the course, we had 25 students from 14 different majors and 4 Colleges. Thirteen different advisors from those 4 Colleges accepted these students into the respective courses, two professors from different Colleges taught the course, one professor and one PhD candidate from different Colleges conducted research on the outcomes of the course and three undergraduate students from two Colleges provided research assistance. ICON was made possible by accessing all single semester senior undergraduate independent study courses across campus, allowing students to make a choice: work one-on-one with a faculty advisor in the traditional way, or join ICON and gain experience in working in research with a trans-disciplinary team after having learned how.

Here we demonstrate that a truly trans-disciplinary learning experience is possible within the traditional academic framework with only minor adjustments. We show that the creation of a new course code (therefore removing the possibility of getting credit towards respective majors) is not necessary and that this is likely to increase the demand for this experience.

Elements of Engagement

A short simulation of the consultative process will be facilitated. Audience members will be asked to brainstorm challenges that this framework would present at their own institutions and briefly share them with group.

If the review committee feels as though a longer presentation would be better, we are more than willing to make this into a more interactive experience.

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Jul 9th, 1:45 PM

Hijacking all the courses: a trans-disciplinary learning experience for undergraduate students

P&A Rm 150

Shoshanah R. Jacobs, Jessica Nelson, Brianna Driscoll, Daniel Gillis University of Guelph

We present Ideas Congress (ICON), a truly trans-disciplinary learning opportunity for undergraduate students at the University of Guelph. A review of interdisciplinary or trans-disciplinary research opportunities for undergraduate students in Canada revealed that programs were either 1) restricted to graduate programs or 2) not very trans-disciplinary.

Using a consultative process with faculty and administration, we designed a pilot course that focuses on the teaching of knowledge translation and transfer theory and then challenges students to apply that knowledge to solving a community problem.

ICON has three major goals:

To facilitate transdisciplinary learning and research.

To strengthen discipline specific knowledge by providing students with the appropriate platform and tools to act as teacher.

To engage students in community supported research and challenge them to make their work relevant and accessible to all stake holders.

In the first offering of the course, we had 25 students from 14 different majors and 4 Colleges. Thirteen different advisors from those 4 Colleges accepted these students into the respective courses, two professors from different Colleges taught the course, one professor and one PhD candidate from different Colleges conducted research on the outcomes of the course and three undergraduate students from two Colleges provided research assistance. ICON was made possible by accessing all single semester senior undergraduate independent study courses across campus, allowing students to make a choice: work one-on-one with a faculty advisor in the traditional way, or join ICON and gain experience in working in research with a trans-disciplinary team after having learned how.

Here we demonstrate that a truly trans-disciplinary learning experience is possible within the traditional academic framework with only minor adjustments. We show that the creation of a new course code (therefore removing the possibility of getting credit towards respective majors) is not necessary and that this is likely to increase the demand for this experience.