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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

Interdisciplinary education provides unique learning, problem solving and research opportunities, although at a cost. In this paper the author provides an introduction to interdisciplinary education and background on the field. This is followed by a suggested systems model for analyzing major variables that affect the design and successful delivery of such courses. Analysis focuses on the level of harmony or discontinuity displayed between the theoretic and application frameworks employed by the three primary input variables: professors, students and content of the multiple disciplines involved. The system model developed incorporates these major input variables, as well as the processes involved in delivering the course and the major outputs. Description of the efforts to correct the course deficiencies and the successful outcomes in the second year provide useful insights for developers of interdisciplinary courses. The overall conclusion of the paper is that when a single course is targeted for two very diverse groups of students, there is a serious gap between the needs and backgrounds of those two groups that must be addressed in the design and communication of the course to achieve successful delivery and enhance research potential.

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