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Interdisciplinary Course Development

The Hope-HHMI program will support faculty teams to develop interdisciplinary courses. Faculty from at least two different disciplines will develop a course. Eligible departments include Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Computer Science, Engineering, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Nursing, Physics, and Psychology.  Preference will be given to projects that:
• combine physical science or mathematics with biology,
• build in ways for students to reflect on the nature of the different disciplinary approaches,
• seek to truly integrate the perspectives of the disciplines, instead of simply adding them together.

Faculty who are awarded a course development grant are required to attend a summer interdisciplinary curriculum development workshop. The workshop will consist of two 4-hour sessions (lunch included.)  Faculty will work with the HHMI Director of Integrative Studies in the assessment and evaluation of the case studies.

The Hope College-HHMI program goals for student interdisciplinary learning are:
• To develop in students the intellectual capacity to deal with real, complex problems
• To build student confidence and willingness to approach problems from multiple perspectives
• To build student ability to communicate with scientists from other disciplines
• To develop student ability to make decisions in the face of uncertainty (reflective judgment)
• To help students understand strengths and limitations of different disciplinary perspectives
• To develop students' understanding of their own beliefs about knowing

The proposed interdisciplinary courses are expected to reflect these broader programmatic goals. They should serve as an introduction to interdisciplinary thinking and learning for students.
If you have any questions about developing interdisciplinary courses or if you would like to discuss your ideas, please contact Dr. Joanne Stewart, Department of Chemistry, x7634, stewart@hope.edu.

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