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Many institutions understand that by combining subject areas
that may not normally go together, new insights can be discovered
When we enrol in a course, our area of study generally sits within a
particular faculty or department. And we often complete our course
without knowing what students in other faculties or departments may be
learning. This is a pity, because in the real world we need to work
with people from a range of disciplines, and having an understanding
of what they do could be really useful.
Many institutions understand that by combining subject areas that may
not normally go together, new insights can be discovered. This is not
such a new idea - for many years it has been possible to study
"Arts/Law" or ‘Economics/ Law" and other combined
degrees at some universities. But in order for real innovation to
happen, existing subject area ‘silos' should be crossed. Some
universities are creating extra degrees that combine with existing
degrees to breach existing subject area silos (for example UTS, with
of Creative Intelligence and Innovation).
At the TAFE NSW, some initiatives are exploring the concept of
Recently a Games
Development Certificate group shared a class with the Marketing
and Business Certificate group, and began working on a
multi-disciplinary brief. The students will work together in the real
world, so it makes sense to begin during their time studying. They can
learn about each other's disciplines, and how to work with people who
may have a different world view.
A typical session begins with each faculty describing how their
course runs, and then moves into areas of common interest, followed by
a problem that needs to be solved. Following an initial information
session, students are given a brief where they work in blended groups
to brainstorm a solution. They present back to the group, and receive
feedback from their peers and the other groups.
Some students were initially skeptical, but thrived on the
experience. All of the blended groups presented original and
compelling concepts for games that could solve the business problem
presented, and the marketing students are now taking the concepts into
market research. Following this, the groups will come together again,
and hopefully we'll see some great games as a result.
Such collaborative learning can be extended into other faculties
where students can use their practical skills across faculties and
disciplines to further mimic a real-world working situation. It's a
great approach to hands-on learning, and students can see, in a
practical way, how their skills translate over a variety of areas.
This in turn exposes them to a multitude of career opportunities.
In another example, horticulture students and teachers are
trialling the use of digital media to identify and download plant
information, and are looking to ‘gamify' the experience.
So keep an open mind. It doesn't matter what you're studying - think
how you could work with people in other areas to generate new ideas.
Even a simple conversation can yield some really exciting possibilities.