PKAL Phase VI— Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning

Monthly Interactive Calls About Interdisciplinary Learning

Previous Conversations

A conversation to recap outcomes from the April Roundtable. We presented a synthesis of the goals and strategies that were created at the meeting in preparation for your final reports and the National Colloquium in the fall (October 15 – 16 at the National Academies Keck Center in Washington, DC).
May 12, 2010
4:00 p.m. EST


A discussion of the 2009 project reports summary and the project updates just submitted for 2010. The webinar discussion centered on these two questions, plus any other insights you have after reading the reports:

  • What are the common themes, in terms of success, barriers, challenges, and opportunities?
  • What formative findings and recommendations can be synthesized from these project reports?
March 18, 2010
4:00 p.m. EST



Planning the Final FIDL meetings and publications
February 17, 2010
4:00 p.m. EST


A Conversation on Using NSSE Data to Assess Interdisciplinary Learning with Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director of the Center for Postsecondary Research & NSSE Institute.
November 18, 2009
4:00 p.m. EST


This webinar will help participants mine their campus NSSE data to support assessment of interdisciplinary program objectives and student experiences.


A conversation with Wende Morgaine, VALUE Initiative Manager, Association of American College & Universities and Faculty, Portland State University about using AAC&U VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) rubrics.
October 21, 2009
3:00 p.m. EDT



A conversation with Whitney Schlegel, Associate Professor Biology, Director of the Human Biology Program- Indiana University at Bloomington about how to use the "Backward Design" process in planning STEM interdisciplinary courses and programs.
September 23, 2009
3:00 p.m. EDT



A conversation with Louis J. Gross, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics Director, National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS.org). University of Tennessee-Knoxville, about "Mathematics and Life Science Education: Promoting Interdisciplinarity."
April 23 , 2009
4:30 p.m. EDT

Biology continues to become ever more quantitative. Students who wish to comprehend current theory, design and analyze new experiments, and utilize with understanding new technological tools require more quantitative training than most obtain through formal quantitative courses. At the same time, students with strong interests in mathematics may not be exposed early in their education to the plethora of exciting opportunities to apply the quantitative methods they are learning about. How can we improve our curricular offerings to enhance the opportunities for all our students to develop an interdisciplinary perspective? How can we reinforce the importance of quantitive approaches for life science students, so that they don't see math courses as simply a hurdle to get over? What methods can we use to help students to become "fearless users" of the new technologies which have allowed us to much more readily carry out quantitative analysis in biology? In concordance with the Bio2010 Report, we will explore possibilities of a multi-pronged approach to integrate quantitative ideas throughout the curriculum.

Resource: Some lessons from fifteen years of educational initiatives at the interface between mathematics and biology: the entry-level course
To appear in: MAA Notes Volume "Undergraduate Mathematics for the Life Sciences: Processes, Models, Assessment, and Directions" edited by Jenna Carpenter, Glenn Ledder and Tim Comar. 2009



A Report on the Keck/PKAL Assessment Roundtable (April 3 - 5)
April 6, 2009
4:30 p.m. EDT



Conversations within the Keck/PKAL community about lessons learned and what works in getting people to sit down and talk about the various dimensions of interdisciplinarity.
March 17, 2009
4:30 p.m. EST



A conversation with Margaret DeBolt (Zimmer Gunsul Frasca), Charles Kirby (EYP/ Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering P.C.), and Michael Reagan (Burt Hill) about "Spaces that facilitate interdisciplinary learning in the undergraduate STEM settings."
March 4, 2009
4:30 p.m. EST



A conversation with Stephanie Pfirman, Professor & Chair of Environmental Science at Barnard College, about "Interdisciplinary Hiring, Tenure, and Promotion: Guidance for Individuals and Institutions."
February 4, 2009
3:00 p.m. EST



A conversation with Karl A. Smith, Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota about "Teamwork and Project Management."
December 5, 2008
2:00 p.m. EST



A conversation with Edward J. Katz, Dean for University Programs at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, about "Creating and Supporting Cultures of Interdisciplinarity."
October 22, 2008