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Talking across the disciplines: Building communicative competence in a multidisciplinary graduate-student seminar on inquiry in teaching and learning

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... These courses ranged from first-year through senior levels, and class enrollments ranged from 10 to 250 students. Courses covered subjects as diverse as Interpersonal Communication, Intermediate Biblical Hebrew, Vascular Plants, Video Games in American Culture, Tissue Culture and Virology Lab, and Lost Tribes and Sunken Continents (see Robinson et al., 2012;see Indiana University, 2012b, for more detailed discussion of the teaching contexts and learning objectives in courses taught by our participants.) ...
... The third major collegium design decision provided participants with experience in multi-and interdisciplinary circles that their future institutional homes will value, including the campus-level service committees on which much of college and university life depends and the interdisciplinary research programs that funders increasingly reward. As they become deeply acculturated to their fields, scholars tend to lose sight of alternative epistemologies (Robinson et al., 2012). In this project, we recognized various relationships among disciplinary perspectives along a spectrum from multidisciplinary coexistence and cooperation to interdisciplinary fusion. ...
... The trading zone notion implies that scholars move from a familiar, discipline-based space to a (literal or conceptual) space of multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary exchange and production. There, disciplinary differences also come to light, including differences in terminology, priorities, epistemologies, methodologies, traditions, and literatures (Robinson et al., 2012). Investigations into such differences often address "signature pedagogies," the instructional methods central to each discipline that, when well designed and well executed, support students' engagement with disciplinary practices and habits of mind (Chick, Haynie, & Gurung, 2009;Shulman, 2005). ...
... The content of the theme Diversity recognizes that varied perspectives are an inherent attribute of a CoP in a university context. The content of Knowledge, Learning and Ideas (Theme 4) also reflects the interdisciplinary context of SoTL that tends to attract scholars from multiple disciplines and backgrounds (Robinson et al. 2013). Shared Leadership (Theme 6), and, Risk (Theme 7) both relate to the work of convening a CoP. ...
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Communities of practice (CoPs) can provide opportunities for diverse and inclusive groups to convene, share, collaborate, and support others. Using a self-study research approach combined with a visual research method, this study explores both scholarly and practice-based insights to describe the anticipated attributes of a high functioning CoP for the support of collaborative engagement in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). The following nine emergent attributes are identified: 1) Structures; (2) Social environments; (3) Diversity; (4) Knowledge, learning and ideas; (5) Support; (6) Shared leadership; (7) Risk; (8) Results and impact; and (9) Growth over time. This study contributes to the growing body of knowledge related to the value of visual research methods in collaborative self-study. Moreover, the results of this self-study deepen understanding about the practice and role of convenors and organizers of a grass-roots, campus-wide SoTL CoP initiative.
... 140). Robinson, Gresalfi, Sievert, Kearns, Christensen, and Zolan (2013) discuss the value of multidisciplinarity in SoTL in the context of a graduate student seminar on teaching and learning that brought together students and faculty from four disciplines. Important critiques have been made, including that humanities scholars have had to abandon their disciplinary identities and instead take up social-science approaches to be accepted within the SoTL field (Chick 2013;Potter and Wuetherick 2015). ...
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Amongst a range of changes that have taken place within tertiary education, perhaps the most revolutionary has been a shift to student-centred approaches focused on life-long learning. Accompanying this approach to holistic higher education (HE) has been a growing interest in, and understanding of, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). SoTL has, at its core, a deep concern with student learning and is therefore well-aligned with higher education’s renewed focus on its students. In this conceptual paper, we examine the impact of the T-shaped person which many tertiary institutions are operationalizing to inform and connect the development of students’ deep disciplinary knowledge with non-academic and employment readiness skills (such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and critical thinking). Importantly, we argue for a re-positioning of SoTL to complement and support this model, with SoTL as both the fulcrum and the fluid, multiple threads of discourse that are intricately entwined around the structure of the T-shaped model. We encourage our colleagues to strive to be T-shaped practitioners and we cast a vision of a T-shaped community. Here, all stakeholders within HE connect both their academic knowledge and holistic skills in collaborative ways to produce learners who flourish in modern society. The SoTL community plays a pivotal role in achieving this vision and is well-positioned to expand the current notion of SoTL toward a more holistic, interconnected, central role in HE.
... 140). Robinson, Gresalfi, Sievert, Kearns, Christensen, and Zolan (2013) discuss the value of multidisciplinarity in SoTL in the context of a graduate student seminar on teaching and learning that brought together students and faculty from four disciplines. Important critiques have been made, including that humanities scholars have had to abandon their disciplinary identities and instead take up social-science approaches to be accepted within the SoTL field (Chick 2013;Potter and Wuetherick 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
Amongst a range of changes that have taken place within tertiary education, perhaps the most revolutionary has been a shift to student-centred approaches focused on life-long learning. Accompanying this approach to holistic higher education (HE) has been a growing interest in, and understanding of, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). SoTL has, at its core, a deep concern with student learning and is therefore well-aligned with higher education’s renewed focus on its students. In this conceptual paper, we examine the impact of the T-shaped person which many tertiary institutions are operationalizing to inform and connect the development of students’ deep disciplinary knowledge with non-academic and employment readiness skills (such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and critical thinking). Importantly, we argue for a re-positioning of SoTL to complement and support this model, with SoTL as both the fulcrum and the fluid, multiple threads of discourse that are intricately entwined around the structure of the T-shaped model. We encourage our colleagues to strive to be T-shaped practitioners and we cast a vision of a T-shaped community. Here, all stakeholders within HE connect both their academic knowledge and holistic skills in collaborative ways to produce learners who flourish in modern society. The SoTL community plays a pivotal role in achieving this vision and is well-positioned to expand the current notion of SoTL toward a more holistic, interconnected, central role in HE.
... This study builds on the empirical research conducted by all four authors on individual college pedagogy courses Lederer et al. 2015;Miller et al. 2010;O'Loughlin et al. 2008O'Loughlin et al. , 2016Robinson et al. 2013Robinson et al. , 2015. The long-term focus of our research is to methodically examine and compare graduate pedagogy courses across disciplines, using multiple forms of data. ...
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This study examines and documents graduate pedagogy courses offered at a large Midwestern research university. Thirty-three graduate pedagogy course instructors from 32 departments (a majority of those offering courses) completed an online survey. We report on enrollment demographics, preparation of faculty to teach such a course, and how a statement of teaching philosophy is presented to the class. This research connects the analyses of individual pedagogy courses with the few national studies on teacher training, outlines assumptions about an emerging field, and lays groundwork for a comprehensive study of the landscape and outcomes of graduate pedagogy courses nationwide. For full text see: https://doi.org/10.1080/87567555.2017.1333081
... xiii). In order to help institute members through this process, multi disciplinary teams might be encouraged to discuss and come to common understandings of relevant terms (Poole, 2013), and should include mentors who are experienced in interdisciplinary work wherever possible (Meta Robinson et al., 2013). Given that interdisciplinarity and diversity have been positioned as key elements of educational scholarship institutes and of SoTL more broadly, building such recommendations into support for institute mem bers may well be key to such bodies' success. ...
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