BIS 300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry

The purpose of BIS 300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry is to set the stage for students’ success as they pursue an undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences (IAS). The course provides an introduction to interdisciplinary modes of inquiry and the IAS degree portfolio. It encourages students to think about how various types of knowledge are produced, and how they can learn to think and act as researchers by becoming active, creative, and self-critical makers of knowledge in academic and non-academic genres. For more information and resources, see our IAS Degree Portfolio page.

Interdisciplinary Inquiry (BIS 300) is a collaborative effort between IAS faculty and the staff of the Library, Writing Center, and Quantitative Skills Center. Considerable variation appears in the themes, readings, and assignments in individual sections of the course as instructors, librarians, and academic staff innovate and experiment with different pedagogies. What holds the various sections of the course together is our overarching goal to advance the IAS learning objectives by helping students to:

  1. Understand the interdisciplinary production of knowledge and the ways it underwrites different aspects of the IAS program, including an orientation to the program’s diverse and inter-related (inter)disciplinary fields and methods of inquiry, and its portfolio-based assessment process
  2. Become more skilled at critical self-reflection on their learning by making connections among assignments through a course portfolio process that models the program’s degree portfolio and promotes self-directed learning.
  3. Become better critical thinkers, readers, and writers, capable of posing and addressing a variety of complex questions drawing on various types of evidence and writing in a variety of modes.
  4. Become better inquiry-based researchers, able to use the resources at UWB and elsewhere in order to identify scholarly work while producing original knowledge through data gathering, interpretation and the use of evidence.
  5. Become better writers and presenters, ones who are able to communicate clearly, engagingly, and persuasively about complicated topics, arguments, and issues.
  6. Learn to work well collaboratively and to build shared leadership capacities.

Students learn to

  • Take intellectual risks
  • Write and think critically
  • Communicate clearly
  • Read closely
  • Research effectively
  • Work collaboratively