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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Daniel Berger
BIS 300
Bothell Campus

Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Introduction to advanced work in interdisciplinary studies centered on broadly based questions and problems. Stresses the skills necessary to engage in upper-division research and learning in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program.

Class description

The purpose of BIS 300 is to introduce and orient students to upper-division work in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences program. It encourages students to take intellectual risks with the goal of improving their abilities to read closely, write and think critically, communicate clearly and creatively, research effectively, and work collaboratively. We will work closely with the staff in the library and the Writing Center. By doing so students will conclude the course acclimated to the rich variety of resources and support services available to them at UWB. Students should leave this course with a new awareness of their own role as not only consumers but also producers of knowledge.

This particular section of BIS 300 is structured around questions of race and racism. Working in research clusters, students collaborate on a research agenda of their choosing and have the opportunity to present their findings several times throughout the quarter. Additional formal and informal writing assignments are required.

Student learning goals

To understand the concept of interdisciplinary knowledge production and the ways in which it underwrites all aspects of the IAS Program.

To become a better critical thinker and writer—one who is capable of posing, answering and reposing a variety of critical questions.

To become a better researcher—one who is able to use the resources at UWB and elsewhere both efficiently and effectively.

To become a better speaker—one who is able to communicate clearly and engagingly about complicated topics, arguments and issues.

To be experienced working collaboratively, as both a learner and a researcher.

To have a basic understanding of race and racism: what are they, how are they different, where do they come from, how do they operate in society, and how can they be changed?

General method of instruction

The method of instruction for this course includes lecture, small group work, films, and in-class student discussion.

Recommended preparation

Enthusiasm for learning is the most important preparation for this course. Completion of lower-division coursework.

Class assignments and grading

The nature of assignments include formal and informal written assignments, collaborative research, class participation, student presentations, and other critical thinking exercises. A final portfolio consisting of all assignments for the course is required. This class makes use of Canvas for furthering discussion circles.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Daniel Berger
Date: 10/12/2012