Academic Affairs

Interdisciplinary Learning: the Next UNCW QEP

The QEP is a five-year plan that helps us focus on an important topic for improving student learning outcomes and student success. Its goal is to enhance the overall institutional quality and effectiveness of UNCW. Our next QEP on Interdisciplinary Learning will begin in 2023-2024 and run from 2023-2028.

Click on a button below for more information.

Explore the Selected Topic: Interdisciplinary Learning


Cultivating the Collaborative Campus: High-Impact Interdisciplinary Research & Teaching

*Pending final approval from SACSCOC


Read the Abstract:

This QEP would sponsor interdisciplinary faculty/staff teams selected by competitive process, dedicated to researching/teaching around "important questions" they identify that are connected to the UNCW mission and learning goals, particularly diversity and global learning.

Teams would:

  • Integrate questions with curriculum, creating innovative opportunities for teaching, especially learning communities and general education
  • Advance research that prioritizes student participation
  • Promote diversity/global learning (per the AACU definition and the UNCW SLOs of Diversity and Global Citizenship ) by exploring "difficult difference," especially through applied learning/community engagement and/or by study abroad
  • Disseminate inclusive of students; apply for external funding
  • Offer programming designed to connect group efforts to the wider community

Funding would support from 3-6 teams; up to $25K each in Year 1, up to $15K in Year 2. Institutional commitment to 3 funding cycles.

This QEP offers a flexible approach, encouraging creativity and channeling it to support the identified priorities of the interdisciplinary task force and emerging strategic plan.

Click here to review the full proposal (PDF)

If you need this PDF in another format, please reach out to Dr. Kemille Moore ( ).

Watch the Short Introductory Video:

Click here to access the recorded topic proposal presentation

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Interdisciplinary Learning Workshops (Fall 2022)

What is Interdisciplinary Learning?

Friday September 16, 12-1 pm (RL 2005 and via Zoom: )

This workshop will discuss the difference between multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary learning, as well as the fundamental characteristics of interdisciplinary learning: disciplinary grounding, perspective taking, and common ground and integration. It will provide examples of interdisciplinary learning experiences and allow participants to consider ways they might design and develop interdisciplinary learning experiences for their students.

Designing Interdisciplinary Learning Experiences

Friday September 30, 12-1 pm (RL 2005 and via Zoom: )

This workshop will discuss ways of designing interdisciplinary learning experiences that include disciplinary grounding, perspective taking, and integration of disciplinary insights. It will provide examples of learning goals, activities, assignments, and assignment prompts from interdisciplinary learning experiences, and participants will backward design their own interdisciplinary learning experiences.

Interdisciplinary Assignments for Critical Thinking, Diversity, and Global Citizenship

Friday October 21, 12-1 pm (Randall Library 2005 and via Zoom Meeting ID: 854 8030 3860 | Passcode: 720356

Click here to register

Join us for a collaborative workshop between CTE and the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) director to discuss signature assignments and ways participants might design interdisciplinary assignments that target the learning goals of Critical Thinking, Diversity, and Global Citizenship. Our next QEP seeks to improve student learning in upper-division courses that meet these three learning goals, and this workshop will enable participants to develop their own signature assignments that meet Critical Thinking, Diversity, or Global Citizenship learning goals.

Connect and Collaboration Sessions (Fall 2022):

Faculty and staff are invited to come to these sessions to facilitate the formation of interdisciplinary teams that will design, develop, and implement interdisciplinary learning experiences for students, and apply for funding through the next Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) on Interdisciplinary Learning! There will be three sessions in the Fall 2022 semester, organized around the three learning goals targeted in our QEP:

Diversity: Friday, September 23, 12-1 pm
Randall Library 2014, Faculty Commons and via Zoom
Click here to register

Critical Thinking: Friday, October 7, 12-1 pm
Randall Library 2014, Faculty Commons and via Zoom
Click here to register

Global Citizenship: Friday, November 4, 12-1 pm
Randall Library 2014, Faculty Commons and via Zoom
Click here to register


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Interdisciplinary Learning Experiences: Ways to Enhance Higher-Order Thinking

(view proposal PDF)

*Pending final approval from SACSCOC

UNCW’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) features thoughtful, purposeful use of integrative interdisciplinary problem solving to improve student learning outcomes in the areas of critical thinking, diversity, and global citizenship. It focuses on improving our students’ higher-order thinking skills—especially their ability to examine complex local, global, and intercultural issues from multiple perspectives, analyze their own and others’ assumptions, discuss how culture and society influence such assumptions, evaluate the relevance of context when presenting a position, provide evidence in support of that position, and acknowledge competing viewpoints.

Longitudinal assessment of general education data has shown that upper-division courses that address critical thinking, global citizenship and diversity fail to reach their target score (of 3 or 4 out of a 1-4 scale of benchmark-milestones-capstone), and this trend has been consistent every year for the past three cycles of assessment for these three learning goals. Our students’ work in upper-level courses does well in meeting the foundational factual knowledge component (understanding and describing facts about a theme or issue tied to global citizenship or diversity), but it fares poorly at the higher-order thinking skills associated with these complex concepts. Our QEP addresses this student learning gap in higher order thinking skills by encouraging the use of interdisciplinary learning across the curriculum.

Our goal is to use interdisciplinary learning to improve student learning about critical thinking, diversity, and global issues, specifically enhancing the following dimensions of three university-level student learning outcomes (SLOs):

  1. Critical thinking
    1. Influence of context and assumptions; and
    2. Student’s position: position, perspective, thesis, or hypothesis.
  2. Diversity
    1. Knowledge of diverse perspectives and their roots; and
    2. Evaluating claims and theories about diversity.
  3. Global citizenship
    1. Knowledge of connections within systems; and
    2. Use of diverse cultural frames of reference and alternative perspectives.

To meet this goal, our QEP will:

  1. Fund interdisciplinary teams organized around crucial questions that require integrative, interdisciplinary learning and that directly address one of the three targeted learning outcomes: critical thinking, diversity, or global citizenship. For example, “How should the world respond to climate change?
  2. Offer smaller grants for individual initiatives in interdisciplinary pedagogy and curriculum development around these three outcomes.
  3. Organize workshops and presentations that explicate how successful strategies and best practices in interdisciplinary learning can address critical thinking, diversity, and global citizenship.
  4. Facilitate and encourage interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty, staff, and students.

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Learn More About the QEP Process

The Quality Enhancement Plan, often referred to as the QEP, is a five-year plan UNCW uses to increase student learning and student success. As part of our regional accreditation, the QEP is an integral component of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) accreditation process to ensure institutions continue to meet member-driven standards of quality. The QEP reflects and affirms a commitment to enhancing the overall institutional quality and effectiveness of UNCW by focusing on an issue that we consider important to improving student learning outcomes and/or student success. Some of the critical requirements of a proposed QEP topic include a process-driven selection approach with community feedback. UNCW is currently in the process of selecting its next QEP.

Explore information on the QEP process at UNCW.