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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Keith Akio Nitta
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

This course is designed to introduce students to the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS) program and concepts of interdisciplinary knowledge more generally. This course aims to strengthen your ability to read closely, write and think critically, communicate clearly, research effectively and work collaboratively.

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 learn how to work well collaboratively, as both a learner and a researcher.

General method of instruction

Class discussion, small group work, and a limited amount of lecture.

Recommended preparation

BIS 300 is a core course that is meant to be taken during the first quarter as an IAS student. Designed collaboratively among IAS faculty, this course is very closely aligned with the IAS learning objectives described at http://www.uwb.edu/ias/portfolio/learningobjectives

Class assignments and grading

In this section of BIS 300, we use the text Shame of the Nation as a springboard for motivating our own interdisciplinary research projects. 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. Students also create and revise an electronic Program Portfolio. Additional formal and informal writing assignments are required.

Individual reflections, group research propposals, and on-line discussion board posts will be graded on the basis of analytic rigor, logical clarity, factual accuracy, and quality of written expression.


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 Keith Akio Nitta
Date: 07/18/2011