Embedding Interdisciplinarity into the first year Undergraduate Curriculum: Drivers and Barriers to a Cross-Institutional Enhancement Project

Turner, Rebecca, Cotton, Debby, Morrison, David and Kneale, Pauline (2022) Embedding Interdisciplinarity into the first year Undergraduate Curriculum: Drivers and Barriers to a Cross-Institutional Enhancement Project. Teaching in Higher Education. ISSN 1356-2517 (In Press)

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Abstract

Engaging with interdisciplinary learning during higher education (HE) study, can provide students with skills and modes of thinking informed by multiple worldviews. Opportunities for interdisciplinary learning in the English HE system are limited; associated primarily with postgraduate study or later undergraduate stages. This paper reports on an enhancement project that sought to engage first year students with interdisciplinary learning. Drawing on data gathered from staff interviews, student focus groups and module enrolments, we examine drivers and barriers impacting on the planned curriculum transformation. Whilst drivers emerged from many directions (e.g. professional bodies, staff advocates), these were overwhelmed by the barriers – both administrative and ideological. Student responses were mixed. Some would have liked a wider choice of truly interdisciplinary modules, but it was clear many students did not understand the rationale for the modules, and felt that they needed more support to participate.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Interdisciplinarity, curriculum change, academics, first year experience, student induction, student choice
Depositing User: Ms Raisa Burton
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2022 12:04
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2022 12:04
URI: https://marjon.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/17689

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