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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Interdisciplinary Digital Research Methods
Module Code CM604
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Donal Mulligan
Semester 2: Donal Mulligan
Autumn: Donal Mulligan
Module TeacherNo Teacher Assigned
NFQ level 10 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat the module
The module is run as a Summer School GTE offering for doctoral candidates only, and is structured as a full-time week-long module. It cannot be re-sat in the same academic year because of its structure. Reassessment must be by full repeat.

This one-week full-time Summer School module for level 10 students is an intensive exploration of interdisciplinarity. Module delivery is a combination of classroom instruction to address theoretical topics, and activity-based learning to address practical topics. The classroom instruction addresses the historical, conceptual, and institutional development of interdisciplinarity in the context of the modern disciplines. The activity-based learning trains the participants in a General Model of the methodology of scientific research. The components of this General Model are used as the lingua franca of the module during instruction and activities. The goal of this common language is to provide a means for participants to discuss and analyse each other's work effectively, regardless of home discipline. The activity-based work thereby grounds the instructional component in the actual research of the module's participants, and that of their various disciplines. The overall goal of the module is to contribute to participants' individual development in methodological terms, in a manner that simultaneously 1) instills deeper disciplinary understanding, and 2) facilitates the achievement of impactful work across disciplinary bounds.

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain what methodology has in common across the sciences
2. Understand and explain how methodological differences set apart fields and disciplines
3. Evaluate and understand the applications of a variety of methodological approaches
4. Analyse and discuss the methodological basis of others' research, regardless of discipline
5. Communicate their own research in a manner that is methodologically comprehensible across the sciences
6. Situate their own research in the context of their home discipline, and in relation to others regardless of discipline

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Directed learning35Full-time week-long engagement at the Summer School.
Independent Study35Preparation & Readings, Follow-up study based on course topics
Assignment Completion30Completion of analysis assignment, after the module week.
Total Workload: 100

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

The module is of five-days' duration. Classroom instruction is done in the mornings. Activity-based learning is done in the afternoons. The period between these daily sessions is extended and unstructured, to provide time for participants to engage in individual and group work, to encourage socialisation and network-building among the participants, and to avoid fatigue. [NB: Small groups are all pre-assigned for balance ; activities are conducted within groups, among groups, and in plenary.]

Day 1
Morning: Introduction to the Course ; Introduction to interdisciplinarity Afternoon: Participants discuss their research in small groups ; plenary gathering for participant introductions

Day 2
Morning: Introduction to the General Model ; How to use the General Model Afternoon: Small group work applying the General Model ; Methodology Speed Dating

Day 3
Morning: How Disciplines are all the Same: Deep dive into the Conceptual Framework of the General Model Afternoon: Small group work on analysis using the Conceptual Framework ; Small groups present analyses to plenary

Day 4
Morning: How Disciplines are not the Same: Deep dive in Subject Models and Operational Processes of the General Model (NB: Some group work incorporated into morning session, as afternoon is entirely in plenary) Afternoon: Plenary meeting ; Participants present their research according to the General Model

Day 5
Morning: How to use learnings from the module in applications beyond it; Walkthrough of the assessment. Afternoon: Small group work on boundary work and boundary objects ; Groups present their boundary work in plenary 'talent show'

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
ParticipationThis module requires attendance during the Summer School week it runs, and engaged participation in the session. Aside from daily work in groups, participants will also introduce themselves and their research to the plenary during the afternoon of the first day.0%As required
PresentationHaving been trained to apply the General Model of methodology for interdisciplinary discussions of research, participants will present their research to the plenary according to that Model. These presentations are highly structured, and are intended to encourage cross-disciplinary communication and comprehension. This activity occurs on day 4 of 5, in the week-long Summer School module. [This is a PASS/FAIL required element. An evaluation rubric is provided to students in advance on how the assessment is evaluated.]50%Once per semester
Report(s)Participants will submit a 2,500-word analysis of their own research. This report is a methodological reflection based on the General Model, intended for the participant to situate their work within their home discipline, and furthermore to situate their home discipline within the context of the sciences broadly. This is prepared during the Summer School week but is submitted later, with feedback provided. [This is a PASS/FAIL required element. An evaluation rubric is provided to students in advance on how the assessment is evaluated.]50%Sem 2 End
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 2
Indicative Reading List

  • Julie Thompson Klein: 2021, Beyond Interdisciplinarity: Boundary Work, Communication, and Collaboration, Oxford University Press, 9780197571163
  • Harvey J. Graff: 2015, Undisciplining Knowledge: Interdisciplinarity in the Twentieth Century, JHU Press, 9781421417455
  • Karin Knorr Cetina: 1999, Epistemic Cultures, Harvard University Press, 9780674039681
  • Thomas S. Kuhn: 2012, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 50th Anniversary Edition, University of Chicago Press, 9780226458120
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
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