Frontage of ARU's Lord Ashcroft Building in Chelmsford

Interdisciplinary Conference 2023

ARU is delighted to be hosting the 7th Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching Conference at our Chelmsford campus on 20 April 2023.

We look forward to welcoming you, and to exploring the conference theme: 'Interdisciplinary Experiences: Transforming Perspectives'.

This year’s conference theme will focus on the opportunities afforded by interdisciplinary learning and teaching to transform the vision and frames of reference that students bring to the classroom.

This conference also asks how we can empower students to use their experiences of interdisciplinary study to make a difference. This transformation might be in their own learning journey or within a wider community.

The conference theme, Interdisciplinary Experiences: Transforming Perspectives, is close to our hearts at ARU; our education is underpinned by our mission, ‘Transforming lives through innovative, inclusive and entrepreneurial education and research’.

Our trailblazing Ruskin Modules exemplify this approach by bringing students together around societal challenges, co-creating more holistic perspectives informed by diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Proposals for papers, panels, workshops and poster presentations 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.

Closing date for Submissions: 21 December 2022

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

Contact

For further information please contact the conference organisers:

Elaine Brown, Institutional Lead Personal Development Tutoring and Ruskin Modules, ARU: elaine.brown@aru.ac.uk

Ida Kemp, Chair, Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching Conferences (UK): interdisciplinary.ac.uk@gmail.com

Campus and travel information

ARU’s Chelmsford campus is nestled down by the river in the city’s University and Innovation Quarter, just a short stroll from the lively centre.

Our address is Bishop Hall Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 1SQ. Find out more about travelling to our Chelmsford campus.