Developing teaching practice


This article explores a transdisciplinary, collaborative, curriculum design project to promote institutional belonging as a driver of student engagement, and to equip graduates with the fluency to work across disciplines. It demonstrates a facilitated method, to construct learning outcomes that break with typical subject-based knowledge and associated hierarchies of expertise. After considering a small number of precedents, the authors use curriculum models to inform a design specification. Following the formation of a multidisciplinary design team, a development tool (Lego® Serious Play®) was selected for a design workshop. A qualitative analysis of the workshop transcript was then used to inform the learning outcomes for a common module to be taken by all first-year undergraduates. Finally, the article considers how the process provided a framework for collaborative design that has been implemented in further projects, and led to the creation of a growing community of practice. The project provides insights for others embarking on collaborative curriculum design initiatives, especially where transdisciplinary learning is an objective.

Practitioner Notes

  1. Transdisciplinary design teams are best formed through voluntary participation, through expressions of interest, rather than with leaders representing their disciplines.
  2. An appropriate creative design thinking workshop should be delivered to facilitate the bracketing of disciplinary knowledge and associated hierarchies.
  3. The resulting transcript from the workshop should be analysed interpretatively to maximise its qualitative potential for determining curriculum learning outcomes or content.
  4. Participants in the workshop should be encouraged to form a community of practice in order to harness the ongoing potential of new, transdisciplinary approaches.