Interdisciplinary Collaboration: An opportunity to improve student engagement

Session Description
Interdisciplinary collaboration provides an opportunity for instructors from different disciplines to share information, including teaching techniques and methodologies, which benefits not only classroom teaching and research, but also student engagement. Sometimes courses in two different disciplines include similar themes, and interdisciplinary collaboration offers instructors the opportunity to share perspectives when teaching. This presentation will emphasize how interdisciplinary collaboration “…draws on the disciplines with the goal of integrating their insight to construct a more comprehensive understanding” (Repko et al, 2011, p. 25). The presenter will use courses from the Humanities & Social Sciences department at Kaplan University, including American Women, designed using a Humanities perspective, and The 1960s, designed using a Social Sciences perspective. While the two courses have very different descriptions and outcomes, there are several common themes in both courses, including an emphasis on societal expectations of gender and race, as well as specific events from the 20th and 21st centuries. As part of this presentation, the presenter will provide a brief literature review of current research regarding interdisciplinary collaboration. In addition, the presenter seeks to encourage conversation regarding how interdisciplinary collaboration provides students with the opportunity to develop more well-rounded perspectives of course themes.
Jennifer Harrison
Jennifer Harrison, Kaplan University, USA
Jennifer Harrison is a full-time faculty member in the Humanities & Social Sciences department, and course lead for Purdue Global’s American Women and Founding Fathers courses. She specializes in nineteenth-century American women’s history, Art and Humanities, and pop culture, with specific research interests involving the presentation of women in literature, film, and television. She serves as Chair of the Humanities GEL committee, and the University’s Library Advisory Committee.
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