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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Undergraduate Course: Reflections on Interdisciplinary Practice 3: Comparing and Critiquing (EFIE09001)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn this course you will critique and compare different approaches used for reflecting on and growing in interdisciplinary practice, helping you deepening your confidence and capacity for independently and flexibly working in interdisciplinary contexts. You will utilise your knowledge and experience in supporting juniors and peers in their development as interdisciplinary practitioners. Topics will include mentoring theories and techniques, enterprise and standard setting, and theories of interdisciplinarity.
Course description In your third year of study, this course supports you in further developing the independence and critical insight needed to successfully complete the honours level of this interdisciplinary programme. This includes the introduction of new insight frameworks at higher level. For example, a spotlight on theories of interdisciplinary learning and research will help you put into perspective what you have learned about different discipline approaches and methodologies in year 1 and 2, allowing you to evaluate their usefulness in researching global challenges. You will dive deeper into theories and methods for solving problems, including wicked problems, and learn more about design thinking approaches to knowledge creation. You will continue with your reflections to help you integrate your learning from across the whole programme, but you will now be expected to compare and critique a range of reflective methods and approaches and select the most appropriate ones for a given context.

A key focus in the second half of the year will be the preparation for the capstone project, the larger-scale research project that you will be undertaking in the final year of your studies. Utilising your knowledge of frameworks for goal setting and design thinking, you will start generating ideas and negotiate with other students and external (or internal) partners over the topic, scope and delivery for your (group or individual) project. The work you do in parallel in the other third year core course 'Interdisciplinary Research', will provide another basis for this thinking. During this process you will be able to identify any gaps in your learning or skills that you may still have to fill in order to start and successfully undertake the work on the capstone; this will help you with your course choice for the final year of the degree. Building on the work you have done on assessment literacy in second year, you will explore how assessment structures drive learning and behaviour (through setting and tracing of standards and performance indicators or measurements of success, in education settings but also beyond). Linking academic assessment with your own learning goals, you will contribute to the development of / co-create grading descriptors for your own and other students' projects; those descriptors will form a basis for the assessment of some of your work in fourth year (the capstone project). A key element in the area of personal growth this year will be the application of the mentoring skills and techniques you have started to build in year two and which will now be developed further and put into practice: you may start mentoring earlier years students, incoming cohorts of EFI undergraduate students, helping them in their transition through the early years of their studies.

Student Learning Experience:

The course will continue in the by now familiar structure of weekly seminar sessions where content is introduced and discussed in a mix of online material, presentations and workshop activities and which also allow time for individual and group reflection. Similarly, the assessment of the course will again capture and synthesise the learning from across the programme and take the form of a series of reflective submissions, linked with a portfolio used to provide appropriate evidence for relevant Learning Outcomes. In third year, this may include the outline of and reflection on a peer mentoring session, a set of rubrics for measuring success (KPIs - key performance indicators, or marking criteria), and critical reflections on theories of interdisciplinarity and their value for interdisciplinary practice as applied to this year's challenge theme.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the scope and dynamic nature of knowledge creation in specialist areas, and how this is embedded and integrated in key theories, principles and practice of interdisciplinary research.
  2. Apply knowledge, skills and understanding of advanced methods in varied and unpredictable practical and professional contexts, reflecting on and understanding the usefulness and limitations of these.
  3. Present and communicate arguments and ideas using informal and formal methods appropriate for a range of internal and external audiences across different contexts, while critically evaluating the significance and utility of these.
  4. Work collaboratively within interdisciplinary groups in ways that show awareness of different roles and responsibilities, while exercising autonomy, initiative, leadership and accountability when carrying out specific research tasks relevant to group and individual work, under agreed deadlines.
  5. Understand and apply advanced models and theories of personal and professional development, including wellbeing, and develop and reflectively work towards their goals in order to meet personal, academic and professional challenges, while identifying further opportunities for development and growth.
Reading List
Indicative Reading List:

Biggs J. (2003). Aligning teaching for constructing learning. Published by The Higher Education Academy, York.

Boud, F. & Molloy E. (2013). Rethinking models of feedback for learning: the challenge of design. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 38(6), 698-712.

Eraut, 1994. Developing professional knowledge and competence. London: Falmer Press.

Hughes, I. (2001). But isn't this what you're paid for? The pros and cons of peer and self assessment. Planet, 3(1), 20-23.

Orland-Barak, L. (2005). Portfolios as evidence of reflective practice: what remains 'untold'. Educational Research, 47(1), 25-44.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Undertaking this course will enable students to develop, apply and reflect on their research and enquiry skills by using a range of methods of academic enquiry and analysis needed for interdisciplinary practice. Students will exercise autonomy, responsibility and initiative while communicating and collaborating with peers and partners across a range of contexts, working in ways that show awareness of and reflection on collective and individual responsibilities. Students will use a wide range of personal and professional skills to adapt to unfamiliar contexts and environments, and demonstrate the ability to transfer learning and skills across these.

Graduate attributes are closely linked to the learning outcomes, which have a degree of flexibility to provide students with autonomy. With appropriate guidance and feedback, this flexibility will allow students to focus on particular skills and mindsets in the context of different experiences, selecting specific attributes they consider the most important to reflect upon, linked to current and future professional and personal aims, and career aspirations.
KeywordsReflection,Transitions,Employability,Design Thinking,Leadership
Course organiserDr Andrew Cross
Tel: (0131 6)51 4651
Course secretary
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