Documentation:Definitions of Interdisciplinarity in Higher Education

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This is a placeholder for Definitions of Interdisciplinarity in Higher Education. It will soon be populated with links to resources from UBC and scholarship of teaching and learning.

Interdisciplinarity

R.J. Ellis identifies six ways to approach interdisciplinarity, listed below [1]. These are a good place to start planning your mix.

  1. Develop conceptual links using a perspective in one discipline to modify a perspective in another discipline
  2. Recognize a new level of organisation with its own processes in order to solve unsolved problems within existing disciplines or problems that lie beyond the scope of any one discipline
  3. Use research techniques developed in one discipline to elaborate a theoretical model in another
  4. Modify and extending a theoretical framework from one domain to apply in another
  5. Develop a new theoretical framework that may reconceptualize research in separate domains as it attempts to integrate them
  6. Address broad issues and/or complex questions spanning more than one disciplinary field


  1. Ellis, R.J. (2003). "Interdisciplinarity." Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies Good Practice Guide. http://www.llas.ac.uk/resources/gpg/2241