From Earlham Cluster Department

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Earlham College - Keck Multidisciplinary research and curriculum initiative

A. Our project was facilitated by:

1. regular and established multidisciplinary meetings/communication (SciFri, SciDiv)

2. a project of local interest and interest to students

3. a project intentionally chosen to be as multidisciplinary as possible

B. Common barriers which we experienced:

1. time

2. staffing limitations at small schools

3. disciplines sometimes speak different "languages"

4. students often like to compartmentalize their education

C. How we tried to overcome the barriers

1. face to face meetings and lots of communication

2. creativity and adaptability of faculty

3. common presentation material or guest presentations of material for courses

D. Assessment for our project

1. External evaluation - onsite visits

2. Internal surveys

3. personal reflections of faculty

4. Exam questions (criterion referenced assessment)

E. Sustainability of multidisciplinary work

1. Course module vs. separate course

2. Service learning - outside course or built into course

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