Title: Institutional Research of an Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Curriculum of a Sino-American Joint Venture Liberal Arts and Sciences University in China
Stream: Interdisciplinary, Multidisciplinary & Transdisciplinary Education
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Huiyuan Ye, Duke Kunshan University, China
Noah Pickus, Minerva Schools, United States
Duke Kunshan University (DKU) is a Sino-American joint venture liberal arts and sciences university with an unusual undergraduate curriculum in that interdisciplinarity is built into every major from the beginning. Sustaining this interdisciplinary model, however, meets challenges such as mixed understandings about interdisciplinarity, relatively inexperienced faculty members for this mode of teaching and learning, and combined difficulties about starting a joint venture higher education institution in China. The biggest challenge is, while DKU deliberately designed key features for its interdisciplinary curriculum to work, there is a growing need for assessing how this innovative curriculum is understood and whether students and faculty, those who experience the curriculum in the frontline, understand it in the same way. Without this knowledge, it would be difficult for DKU to continuously align design efforts with student learning outcomes that are direct results of interdisciplinarity. This institutional research adopts mixed methods by surveying and interviewing DKU undergraduate students (N=550) and faculty (N=136) to further identify and make connections across the interdisciplinary curriculum. A special focus is placed on the relationship between the curriculum and DKU's seven institutional Animating Principles (e.g., Rooted Globalism), in the sense that critically and creatively engaging this relationship may serve to inform a more complete understanding of interdisciplinarity at DKU. Findings of this research will help DKU exemplify a fully interdisciplinary undergraduate curriculum that is well-connected with institutional learning outcomes. A key innovation of this research is referencing and localizing the VALUE rubrics from the Association of American Colleges & Universities.
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