Designing and Delivering Interdisciplinary Modules: Plymouth Plus and Beyond
  • 2nd Floor Meeting Room, 3 Endsleigh Place

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The first guiding principal Plymouth Plus is that modules be interdisciplinary. But while this is increasingly called for in proposals, policy, and professional practice in fields from Acting to Zoology (Thompson-Klein 2010), it asks students and staff alike to step outside of our comfort zones.

What does 'interdisciplinary teaching and learning' even mean? 'Interdisciplinarity' is an increasingly common part of undergraduate curricula, but, in fact, there is no agreed definition or way of implementing it (Huutoniemi et al. 2010).

For example, does interdisciplinary T&L mean giving a student access to content from several fields, or teaching them to work with students from several fields? Is one more important; can/should we do both? In either case, what is the actual value of interdisciplinarity? WHY should we want to develop it in students, and if so how (e.g. what are ‘good’ interdisciplinary ILOs, how do we design interdisciplinary assessment?)

In this workshop we will review best practice for developing interdisciplinarity in the undergraduate curricula. The session is headed by Dr David Morrison, drawing on his recent doctoral thesis on the subject. 

David will present a clear and supported model of what interdisciplinary T&L means, and what it needs to be effective. This will be done in the context of Plymouth Plus, and will review our evaluation of the 2015-16 Plymouth Plus offerings. The core of the workshop, however, will be hands-on guided practice and discussion on designing effective Plymouth Plus modules (looking towards 2017-18). Emphasis will be on ideas that are interesting, but also useful, to students; locating collaborators; interdisciplinary ILOs; realistic goals for the intensive format; how Plymouth Plus fits with professional accreditations; and the role of student choice.

Contact: David Morrison (

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