Facilitating the Development of Effective Interdisciplinary Curricular Materials

  • Anne E. EggerEmail author
  • Monica Z. Bruckner
  • Stuart J. Birnbaum
  • Lisa A. Gilbert
Part of the AESS Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and Sciences Series book series (AESS)


Development of strong interdisciplinary curricular materials requires bringing together teams of instructors with diverse disciplinary expertise around complex and compelling topics. Many faculty lack the experience and support needed to effectively develop curricula as part of a team. To address these needs and to meet its own goal of engaging students in learning about Earth in the context of societal issues, the InTeGrate project designed a process that (1) constructed diverse and interdisciplinary materials development teams; (2) structured the materials development around a detailed rubric that included grand challenges and interdisciplinary problem-solving; (3) supported materials development teams through a semiflexible, scaffolded development timeline with several checkpoints; and (4) developed an extensive website to support both development teams and adopting instructors. Through this process, 32 interdisciplinary teams of 113 unique authors from around the country and many institution types produced 26 modules and 6 courses that are published on the InTeGrate website. The materials address a wide range of Earth-related grand challenges and contain explicitly interdisciplinary components. Authors and project leadership used the website heavily to support the development process. The rubric, timeline, and web-based tools that facilitated team-based curriculum development encode research-based practices in curriculum design and teaching and learning, and all components can be adapted for use by other projects.


Curriculum development Rubric Interdisciplinary teams InTeGrate Active learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne E. Egger
    • 1
    Email author
  • Monica Z. Bruckner
    • 2
  • Stuart J. Birnbaum
    • 3
  • Lisa A. Gilbert
    • 4
  1. 1.Geological Sciences and Science EducationCentral Washington UniversityEllensburgUSA
  2. 2.Science Education Resource Center, Carleton CollegeNorthfieldUSA
  3. 3.University of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  4. 4.Geosciences & Marine Science at Williams-Mystic, Williams CollegeMysticUSA

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