INTERDISCIPLINARITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION: IMPROVING THE TEACHING-LEARNING PROCESS THROUGH COLLABORATION BETWEEN SUBJECTS
Nowadays, training and learning should facilitate the development of the attitudes and capacities necessary to face a globalized and changing environment, of a plural nature, where it is necessary to combine knowledge from different disciplines and professions in order to solve problems or develop creative ideas. In this context, future professionals need to adopt a critical and open attitude that should be sustained on certain skills such teamwork, cooperation, leadership or reflection, among others. The establishment of an interdisciplinary environment where students should address problems from different points of view and share knowledge is an interesting way to develop and improve the required skills.
Keeping this in mind, the current paper presents a future project proposal at Universitat Jaume I in Castellón directed to provide that interdisciplinary environment in higher education. So that, in order to highlight the importance of working with interdisciplinary teams, students enrolled in two different subjects -Introduction to firm information systems and Firms organization and management-, that belong to five different degrees -Business Management, Finance and Accounting, Economics, Computer Engineering and Computational Mathematics- should develop a common final project for their subjects, analysing a specific firm or organization. Although the two subjects belong to the discipline of Business Administration, their fields of interest are different, so that the students of one subject would complement their knowledge through the collaboration with the students of the other subject.
Specifically, students of each subject would be grouped in teams, and each team would collaborate with a team of the other subject, being the firm or organization to analyse shared by the teams of the two subjects. They would need to communicate and exchange ideas and knowledge to carry out the project, improving, by doing this, the teaching-learning experience and the use of knowledge. Therefore, it is about taking advantage of the knowledge of the students of each grade and the concepts studied in each of the subjects to develop a common work; moreover, this activity would prepare students for the real working world, where professionals should work and collaborate with people who they just met, with diverse backgrounds and fields of expertise.
To achieve a greater involvement of the students and enhance their participation and motivation, the implementation of active learning methodologies is essential. In this sense, this proposal will be developed, basically, through the methodology of project-based learning and cooperative learning, although other methodologies will be considered. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) will be essential for the students of the two subjects in order to communicate, search for information or work cooperatively.