MILE Markers

MAPPING INTERDISCIPLINARY LEARNING EXPERIENCES

 

Mapping Interdisciplinary Learning from Experience (MILE)

MILEMarkers is a research program documenting integrative, interdisciplinary learning experiences (ILEs) across an eclectic range of Red House Projects guided by the following questions:
  • How do interdisciplinary/integrative experiences have an impact on students' knowledge, skill development, and dispositions?
  • How can this knowledge help us build new learning experiences?
  • How can we transform co-curricular opportunities to support the development of skills, knowledge, and integral dispositions?

Our goal in this project is to increase our knowledge on how to:

  • Structure intentional experiences for students
  • Create support mechanisms for faculty, mentors, staff, and students in these experiences
  • Generate and grow a meta-skills curriculum to support situated research practices


The value of investigating interdisciplinary, integrative learning experiences provides a window into the curriculum and co-curricular spaces of Georgetown faculty, staff, and students. We are seeking to identify the requisite frameworks in which to develop student-faculty research partnerships, to advance Georgetown's experiential learning offerings, and to track growth. The MILEMarkers Program maps the kinds of learning that students experience at the boundaries between disciplines, between theory and practice, and between the classroom and the world. Most importantly, what could be done with this knowledge that would strengthen, if not transform, a Georgetown education? This is an especially salient question given a significant, growing emphasis in the last 20 years on interdisciplinarity, experiential learning, and a broadened sense of the skill sets that students need in equitable learning environments.

Initial findings

  • Structure Matters:
    • Helping students find ILEs is a current challenge.
      • Keeping them engaged throughout through explicit expectations.
      • Ending the experience with an outward-facing task aimed to synthesize knowledge & prep students to transfer this knowledge to next adventure.
    • Student Capabilities Developed: Ownership, autonomy, risk-taking, and intrinsic curiosity are significant features of ILEs students mentioned in interviews.
  • Looking Ahead ...

    • Map skills being developed and where students see these skills developed in courses/programs to date in order to outline a set of competencies and skills these ILEs contribute to GU/UG education.
    • Determine which skills, workshops, 1-credit courses (research meta-curriculum) could support faculty-student partnerships.
    • Develop a guide for supporting these experiences based on findings and current research on high impact practices


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