The Implementation of an Interdisciplinary Faculty Learning Community
AffiliationUniversity of Southern Indiana
TitleThe Implementation of an Interdisciplinary Faculty Learning Community
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Since real life problems are not confined to single disciplines, faculty need to become facilitators that model interdisciplinary dialogue at the level of course design and delivery, through collaboration with other faculty, or/and through engaging in interdisciplinary problem-solving in their own teaching.
A faculty learning community model was used (Cox, 2004). The beginning dialogue occurred monthly on campus during the fall semester with a voluntary, self selected group of USI faculty. Initially 16 people representing seven (7) disciplines expressed interest. Members were asked to commit to attend 75% of the meetings.
An interactive face to face discussion was facilitated by two faculty and enhanced with articles (Lyall, et al, 2015; Woods, 2007) and online discussions. A FLC Blackboard site served as a platform to continue online discussions that began en face.
Discussions focused on what faculty want their students to know, i.e. writing skills, and how skills transcend disciplines. Group members are committed to the notion and importance of interdisciplinary practice and are exploring how that might happen at USI. Looking at university structures already in place such as the Honors Program, faculty discussions are exploring ways to implement an interdisciplinary model.
Faculty discussions are aimed at creating common ground concerning definitions of interdisciplinarity in theory and practice as well as exploring ways to implement an interdisciplinary model based on a set of researched best practices. In a mutually constructed evaluation of the Interdisciplinary FLC, faculty will decide what the next steps are.