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Discussion notes -- Carol, et al

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  1:00 PM – 1:30 PM Overview of Practical Questions: · How to create the environment to identify common language to support learning and working across disciplines? · How to facilitate and support that environment when it is underway? o Could be accomplished by either top down (look at all disciplines and find common themes) or bottom-up (look at specific instances of interdisciplinary course work or themes that people are doing). o Could be accomplished by administrators dictating interdisciplinary or is it faculty that come up with the ideas. o Have a seminar or settings where it is established that faculty talk about their areas and where they determine what they have in common. § Establish a culture where it is ok to explore other areas. § Administrators should establish some tenure points, recognition or funding to participate in these meetings. § Find a way to involve students in the process because they may have great interdisciplinary ideas to implement which faculty will assist in implementing. o Administrators will bean count which may inhibit interdisciplinary work. Find new models of how to count teaching load, research. o May also want to include an element to evaluate that takes into account the risk factor of teaching an interdisciplinary course. · How to promote it (convince colleagues it is necessary)? o Do we know why they don’t want to do it? o We need to identify the myths that surround interdisciplinary learning? § It takes too much time. § I need to learn everything in the other discipline. § I don’t want to risk anything because I am comfortable in my environment. o Administrators may want to implement interdisciplinary projects because industry backs them and they believe that industry may donate money to these projects. o Administrators should look at this because it differentiates their students from other students which will make their school look better in terms of job placement or how students are perceived. o Convince colleagues that interdisciplinary work is very rewarding. o Interdisciplinary skills that industry wants (communication (1), problem solving (2) , team work (3), technical (7th) so our students will benefit if we work with interdisciplinary problems. · How to support tenure/promotion? o Systematic change in the process which is very tough to accomplish § Peer must support the value of interdisciplinary research § Where to publish that colleagues will accept as a credible publication if it is not in their core major? o Does the institution value multi-author publications rather than focusing on individual publications? o If more institutions had post tenure then more faculty would be interested in doing projects associated with interdisciplinary project. o Administrators must support interdisciplinary projects that the rank committee will value it. · How to support graduate and undergraduate programs? o Develop interdisciplinary courses that are electives that would count in a undergraduate or graduate program. o Develop a description of what is interdisciplinary means. § Course must interdisciplinary. § Who teaches the course? Does the faculty have an interdisciplinary background or are there several faculty from different disciplines involved in the course. · How does one validate that a faculty has an interdisciplinary background? § Students from other disciplines should be enrolled in the course. o For an interdisciplinary major, how does one validate the content in the program? How do we maintain the body of knowledge for the program? Who should be involved in validating the body of knowledge? o Maybe the value is in how many students get jobs and does industry support the interdisciplinary program? o Once an interdisciplinary program is accepted and becomes a major, it is interdisciplinary? Such as health informatics, cognitive science? o Interdisciplinary programs should always be changing? How to keep the interdisciplinary flavor in the program or course? Mentality should not be that we set this up and let’s do this the way that we did this last time. · How to support interdisciplinary collaboration through technology? o What type of technology will work for the group? § Discussion spaces (Facebook, LinkIn, MySpace, Twitter, etc.) § Blogs § Instant messaging § Emails § Wikis § Video (YouTube, etc) § Video chats (Skype, Facetime, etc.) o Adoption of technology may vary by the culture, gender, or age of the group?