Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning

February 22, 2010– An essay by Deborah DeZure, from Eastern Michigan University, entitled “Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning” explores the integration of knowledge, benefits, and approaches used in order to successfully achieve a synthesis of two for more discipline.

Going along with this months session, this essay provides additional information on a style of teaching that has become more and more popular in colleges


Teaching as a Team

February 16, 2010- This month Provisions explored the world of teaching as a team. Presentations were provided by Dr. Nancy Dorr, Associate Professor of Psychology, Kathryn Laity, Professor of English, and Dr. Jenise Depinto, Professor of History.

Dr. Dorr began the session by talking about her experience team teaching Social Neuroscience alongside Rob Flint. The idea to teach this course came about due to their desire to expose students to a more topic approach to psychology. Dr. Dorr talked about how this course was taught and how to handle team teaching. A lecture style, due to lack of text on the topic, provided a need for both professors to be present at every class. The class was organized into topics, and grading was divided up accordingly. Finally, as a way to evaluate their success of teaching as a team, Dorr and Flint provided students with a survey. The results showed that many students strongly agreed with and enjoyed the team teaching experience.

Dr. Dorr also talked about the many benefits, challenges, and recommendations for individuals interested in teaching as a team.

Next, Kate Laity and Jenise Depinto shared their experience working together for a course called “Text & Contexts in the Middle Ages.” This course was a mix of English and History, and indeed created challenges for both professors. However, the overlap in content and chance to learn new material that was not familiar to them lead to a great experience teaching as a team. Laity and Depinto also talked about how their main focus was to make sure students were making a connection between both the history and literature aspects of the content taught. The use of blackboard and in class discussions, allowed students to create a conversation.

All three presenters provided a clear and encouraging look into the world of team teaching, and contribute much of their success to the support they received from their departments.

The session concluded in a open discussion of topics such as grading participation, how students responded to the courses taught, how differences among teachers in team teaching introduces notion of a new way of thinking, and if team teaching could work with freshman.

Below you will find the materials each presenter shared during the session. To hear this session, as well as past Provision sessions, please visit the “Session Podcast” link.

Continue reading