Have you ever wanted to teach real-world interdisciplinary problem solving but felt that your disciplinary lens was too narrow? One way to teach an interdisciplinary class is to partner with another faculty member to work together to design course content and assessments, to co-teach.
A note on language: When multiple faculty partner to teach across disciplines, the result is often referred to in the literature as a learning community. At LCSC, we have used the term learning community in the past to refer to cohorts of students that take two or more classes together.
Faculty co-teach for many reasons. Here are a few of the most common:
- Offers a way for faculty to model, and for students to practice, interdisciplinary problem solving.
- Allows faculty to learn and build relationships across disciplines.
- Encourages faculty to observe how each other teach.
- Is fun, enlivening, inspiring and creative.
How does co-teaching happen at LCSC?
Faculty at LCSC teach together in many invaluable ways, including mentoring and partnering to teach labs or recitations. The co-teaching models listed below are those that allow faculty to emphasize interdisciplinary problem solving, to develop course content together, and to attend each others' classes. If you have other models or are thinking about how other ways will work, please let us know.
- Cap doubling - Two faculty teach a class with twice the enrollment as usual and each faculty receives the full credits/contact hours for the class.
- Proportional credit allocation - Class time and credits/contact hours are divided by the two faculty.
- Classes linked at the registration level - Students enroll in two classes at the time of registration. Those two class sessions are structured flexibly by the instructors.
- Theme-based, project-based and/or common read - Separate classes combine for part of the semester online or in the classroom to focus on a specific project, theme, activity or problem that connects the classes. Students may present their project at the Annual Research Symposium or other public forum.