Interdisciplinary Studies 250

IDST 250
Research Methods in Interdisciplinary Studies

1. Catalog Entry

IDST 250
Research Methods in Interdisciplinary Studies

Credit hours (3)
Prerequisite: None

This course introduces students to the concept of interdisciplinary studies as well as introducing and practicing interdisciplinary research methods. Students in this course will be introduced to the history of traditional disciplinary research as well as the weakness and strengths of disciplinary methods. Students will learn how to develop an interdisciplinary research “road map” that starts with identifying disciplines relevant to the research question, gathering information, developing an interdisciplinary method, and producing interdisciplinary research.

2. Detailed Description of Course

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary research process.  As such, the course will be structured around the following topics:
    1) Defining the terms interdisciplinary, disciplinary, and multidisciplinary
    2) An introduction to the epistemological and methodological approaches used in the discovery and generation of knowledge.
    3) The history of modern academic disciplines.
    4) The strengths and limitations of disciplinary methods.
    5) The problems with disciplinary methods that interdisciplinary seeks to solve.
    6) Identifying when an interdisciplinary method is appropriate.
    7) Formulating an interdisciplinary research question.
    8) Identifying and merging relevant disciplines in the interdisciplinary research process.
    9) Producing an interdisciplinary research plan.

In this course each student will also be asked to identify and conceptualize an interdisciplinary project that will later serve as a capstone experience.  Elements from this course, including but not limited to the preliminary research done for the future capstone experience, will be incorporated into an e-portfolio maintained by the student.

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will be taught by various instructors, so classroom conduct will vary. During this class students will maintain their e-portfolios while adding material generated in this course. Classroom activities may include small group discussion, peer reviews, lecture, guest speakers from various traditional disciplines, guest speakers currently engaged in interdisciplinary work, student presentations, library instruction, and the analysis of case studies. This course may be offered in a traditional face-to-face, hybrid, or fully online format.

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course
    1) Students will articulate the nature of knowledge in the various areas of human endeavor: the humanities, the natural sciences, and
       the social sciences and the development of disciplinary thinking.
    2) Students will identify an interdisciplinary research question or topic, outline the interdisciplinary research process for addressing that
       question, and locate and retrieve information relevant to interdisciplinary research.
    3) Students will compare and contrast disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary methods.
    4) Students will demonstrate a working knowledge and beginning mastery of research competencies shown to be important for
        successful interdisciplinary research.
    5) Students will develop an online record of their research plans for inclusion in an e-portfolio.

5. Assessment Measures

Assessment measures may include: essay examinations, quizzes, objective tests, journals, individual oral reports, group presentations, written assignments, projects, research papers, evaluation of class participation, class attendance, and the e-portfolio.

6. Other Course Information

None.

Review and Approval

April 23, 2014