Teaching to Interdisciplinary Graduate Students: Developing Methods and Assessing Outcomes

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Kate Hennessy, SIAT

Project team: Hannah Turner, research assistant/Post Doctoral Fellow, SIAT

Timeframe: November 2017 to September 2018

Funding: $6000

Course addressed: IAT 803 – Science, Technology, and Culture

Final report: View Kate Hennessy's final report (PDF)

Description: We would like to understand how to best teach to interdisciplinary graduate students who may share similar interests, but come from completely different methodological backgrounds. Often in the SIAT department this is a challenge, and little research has been conducted with students in SIAT specific teaching environments. This course is the first offering of its kind in our program, and hopefully this research grant will allow us to formally survey students to see a) if we have used the appropriate teaching resources needed to familiarize themselves with material outside of their ‘home’ disciplines and b) what future tools we can use to accomplish this.

Questions addressed:

  • What are student’s impressions of the reasonability or relevance of the texts used in the course? Did their opinions change at the end of the course?
  • Were students able to place their disciplines in historical and interdisciplinary context?
  • Did students’ perceptions the course as being valuable, relevant, and applicable for their future interdisciplinary careers change throughout the course?
  • Do students have suggestions for future sections of this course?

Knowledge sharing: We presented the results at a Teaching Session at SIAT Staff meeting in July and will circulate a binder of the results and materials required for teaching the course for the next faculty who do.

Keywords: Interdisciplinary; graduate study; science and technology studies; science fiction; actor-network theory; critical algorithm studies