INTEG 475 Special Topics: Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Addressing complex issues such as climate change, education, and developing ethically-sound technologies often requires researchers and other stakeholders to collaborate across disciplines and with those outside of academia.

In this course, we’ll examine the nature of interdisciplinarity, and collaboration more generally, by addressing the following questions:

  • What does it mean for something to be “interdisciplinary”? What is the difference between multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinarity?
  • When are interdisciplinary approaches appropriate and what are their benefits?
  • What are the barriers and challenges to working across disciplines?  How might they be resolved?
  • How can we foster and evaluate the success of interdisciplinary collaboration, and collaboration more generally?
  • What are the best ways to train individuals how to make collaboration work?

This course will be taught using collaborative learning techniques that will give students significant opportunities to shape the direction of the course and to work with the instructor to create course assignments. Some of the work done in the course will be aimed at producing publically available materials and resources on interdisciplinary collaboration. In addition, students will undertake an individual or collaborative research project on a topic of their choosing (e.g., the epistemic barriers to collaboration, diversity in teams, evaluating the quality of integrative work, fostering interdisciplinary education, or a real-world case study, to name a few).

Pre-req: Level at least 4A, anti-req: INTEG 475 (001) W19

most recent INTEG 475 Interdisciplinary Collaboration syllabus (PDF) | INTEG 475 in course calendar