Cross Disciplinary Team Work
This course reflects ITU’s founding idea of integrating research and education across disciplines.
Cooperation across different IT sub-disciplines and with domain experts is repeatedly highlighted as one of the core competences that are requested from IT candidates. This is relevant whether e.g. designing for the internet of things, for digital services, and games, or developing digital business models, societal IT infrastructures, software products or custom software for individual organisations.The course offers practical and theoretical perspectives on cross-disciplinary cooperation. Hands-on teamwork on a real-world project prompts collaboration between students from four of ITU's master level study programs. The projects are based on a common theme, presented by teachers and external experts. Each team of students, however, defines and develops their own project and collaborates with an external partner. The course is unique because the reflection on the collaboration and the integration of contributions from other disciplines are integral parts of the learning outcomes. The learning outcomes focus on the ability to identify, work with, reflect on, and communicate one's own and others’ disciplinary approaches through small-team, collaborative development of a project.
The aim of this course is to give the students the possibility to obtain insights in other disciplines, to reflect and apply own disciplinary approaches, to work across disciplines, and to reflect upon how cross-disciplinarity may be beneficial for innovative solutions in theory and practice. We consider cross-disciplinarity to take place between related research areas as well as between traditionally fundamentally different research fields. Working in cross-disciplinary teams, means being able to communicate knowledge of one’s own discipline to team members from other disciplines and create a space to understand, integrate and accept contributions from other disciplines. The course holds a triple aim for the students:
1. To let students develop a strong awareness of their own professional competences and of where and how they can use their competences in cross-disciplinary teams.
2. To let students gain experience with real-world project work and to exploit own competences while integrating others’ experiences and competences.
3. To reflect upon and develop new ways of thinking and working with IT related questions from different perspectives.
The course is organized in eight clusters that work with an overall theme. Each cluster is organized in teams of four to five students. Four teachers are each responsible for two clusters. Each cluster is further affiliated with a TA. This structure supports the learning activities and teamwork and the intention is to make sure that each team has substantial freedom and responsibility for their own learning outcomes.
Throughout the course, guidelines, overview of the structure, and curriculum are available on LearnIT.
This course is a 3rd semester course on the MSc programmes.
Intended learning outcomes
After the course, the student should be able to:
- Identify and define own disciplinary approaches and communicate these to other students.
- Identify, define and describe a problem from a real-world context in collaboration with a team.
- Based on the description of the problem, combine and use the different disciplinary approaches in order to work with it.
- Integrate contributions from own and other disciplines into the project work.
- Communicate the results of a cross-disciplinary academic project to both practitioners and academics.
- Develop and produce an innovative, digital, and functional artefact to address the defined problem, based on teamwork and integration of disciplinary expertise.
- Use the practical project as an opportunity to reflect on the challenges of cross-disciplinary work, conceptually, theoretically and methodologically.
Students work in small teams. To ensure diversity, each team has four to five participants from at least three different study programs. Teams collaborate within a cluster of teams. All teams are supervised by teachers from the involved study programs and TAs.
Learning activities include:
Lectures by teachers and guest teachers
Talks by influential guest speakers
Team & cluster exercises
Creating and maintaining a team project journal
Presentations (internal and towards external stakeholders)
Writing a reflective, critical report
There will be three mandatory assignments during the course. Each demands active and documented participation of all team members. Details about all three assignments are outlined in the ‘Book of CrossDit 2020’.
1. Each team submits a project and process outline after 3 weeks
2. Keep a project journal for the team throughout the semester; each week the team collectively writes anduploads brief texts in the journal, on the practical project work and the team process; the journal also functions as a project memory, a repository for texts, documents, other material .
3. Do a team project presentation at a cluster event by the end of the course. Each team member’s presence and active participation are mandatory.
Be aware: The student will receive the grade NA (not approved) at the ordinary exam, if the mandatory activities are not approved and the student will use an exam attempt.
The student will receive the grade NA (not approved) at the ordinary exam, if the mandatory activities are not approved and the student will use an exam attempt.
A curriculum with selected texts will be available one week before the course starts. Individual students and teams are also expected to contribute with relevant texts of their own choice.
Ordinary examExam type:
C: Submission of written work, External (Pass / Fail)
C1G: Submission of written work for groups
Written team report in two parts: Part one on the project (seven (7) collectively written pages); Part two: on interdisciplinarity and on cross-disciplinary teamwork (one (1) collectively written page, three (3) individually written pages from each team member). Details are described in the ‘Book of CrossDit 2020’, which will be available a week before the course starts.
Group and individual
- Groups of 4-5 students