Constructively aligned teaching in interdisciplinary master courses

What do students perceive as contributing to the learning of interdisciplinary thinking?

Short Description

Over the years we redesigned multiple master courses in Food quality management that aim to develop interdisciplinary thinking. The redesign is based upon three pillars: 1) the critical review on interdisciplinary teaching and learning in higher education (see document list), 2) the constructive alignment theory of Biggs and Tang (2011), and 3) the course content of Food quality management. The redesign and evaluation of one of our courses has been published (see downloads list).

Objective

The ongoing redesign and improvement of our master courses aim to enhance the interdisciplinary teaching and learning in food quality management.

Strong Points

  • The structured and systematic approach using the educational design principles in accordance to McKenney and Reeves (2012).
  • The use of well-known teaching and learning theories such as the constructive alignment theory of Biggs and Tang (2011) and the learning theory of Illeris (2007).
  • The applicability of our expertise to other courses than Food quality management which seemed to work out well in accordance to the course teachers and students.

Recommendations

The ongoing redesign and improvement of our education have resulted in three core recommendations:

  1. Clarify the interdisciplinary learning outcomes to teachers and students, what is actually expected;
  2. Provide clear pedagogical support on the achievement of these outcomes;
  3. Address the cognitive, emotional, and social part of interdisciplinary learning experiences (see document list).

Products

Several articles have been published (have a look at the downloads on the right):

  • Teaching and Learning in Interdisciplinary Higher Education: A Systematic Review
  • Constructively aligned teaching and learning in higher education in engineering: what do students perceive as contributing to the learning of interdisciplinary thinking?
  • A multidimensional approach to examine student interdisciplinary learning in science and engineering in higher education