ARU Chelmsford to host Interdisciplinary Conference 2023

Published: 18 November 2022 at 14:52

Four students walking on ARU's Chelmsford campus

The seventh Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching Conference will be held at our Chelmsford campus on 20 April 2023.

The conference theme is: Interdisciplinary Experiences: Transforming Perspectives. 

Co-organiser Elaine Brown, Institutional Lead Personal Development Tutoring and Ruskin Modules, says: “This theme ties in with ARU’s mission of transforming lives through innovative, inclusive and entrepreneurial education and research. We will focus on opportunities afforded by interdisciplinary learning and teaching to transform the vision and frames of reference that students bring to the classroom. 

“We will consider how we can empower students to use their experiences of interdisciplinary study to make a difference, whether in their own learning journey or within a wider community. 

“Examples from our trailblazing Ruskin Modules, which exemplify this approach by bringing students together around societal challenges, will demonstrate how we co-create more holistic perspectives informed by diverse backgrounds and experiences.” 

The call for papers is now open and the closing date for submissions is 21 December 2022

Proposals for papers, panels, workshops and poster presentations from colleagues inside and outside of ARU should aim to address one or more of the following sub-themes: 

Transformative Interdisciplinarity 

We are interested in how interdisciplinary learning and teaching can be transformative. 

How is this transformation designed and reflected at both module and programme level? 

In what ways do you create a space for interdisciplinarity and communicate any values that might be implicit in interdisciplinary study and research? 

How do you measure the impact of interdisciplinary study in the short, medium or longer term? 

Interdisciplinary thinking can be challenging - how do you engage your students? 

Communities of Learning through Interdisciplinarity 

We are interested in ways that you have found to create or facilitate an interdisciplinary community of learning. 

What kinds of structures are in place in your own institution, and how have you overcome administrative, organisational or disciplinary cultural barriers? 

How might you provide a learning space which gives students the courage to work with interdisciplinarity and its inherent uncertainties? 

Presentations which include practical steps to establish or extend interdisciplinary communities are especially welcome. 

Critical Thinking in Interdisciplinary Assessment 

Assessing interdisciplinary work is one of the most challenging aspects in interdisciplinary learning and teaching. There are not established ‘rules’ of knowledge or accepted benchmarks of success. 

By its very nature, the assessment of interdisciplinary activities must be broad and inclusive, but this also means it is difficult to fit into a rubric or to ‘quantify’. In addition, members of the teaching team often bring their own notions of what is ‘correct’ based on their own epistemological backgrounds. 

We are looking for ways that you have found to measure the critical engagement required for successful interdisciplinary outcomes. 

Please see our Call for Papers (PDF) for more information and instructions for submitting your proposal – feel free to share with teams within ARU and external colleagues. 

This is the seventh conference of this kind. Read about previous conferences

For further information please contact [email protected]