TY - JOUR
T1 - Improving Interdisciplinary Teaching through a Complexity Lens
JF - bioRxiv
DO - 10.1101/2022.05.26.493642
SP - 2022.05.26.493642
AU - Neitzel, Sarah
AU - Zhao, Yuhao
AU - Diaz Eaton, Carrie
Y1 - 2022/01/01
UR - http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2022/05/29/2022.05.26.493642.abstract
N2 - In this article, we discuss the use of bipartite network analysis to understand and improve interdisciplinary teaching practice. We theorize mathematics and biology as part of a coevolving mutualistic ecosystem. As part of an interdisciplinary teaching initiative, we inventoried mathematics topics appearing in the marine biology classroom and their associated marine context. We then apply techniques of mutualistic bipartite networks analysis to this system to understand the use of mathematical concepts in a marine biology classroom. By analyzing the frequency and distribution of mathematics topics, we see that a variety of mathematical concepts are used across the course with most appearing only a few times. While this is an inherent trait of mutualistic coevolutionary networks, it can create a logistical challenge to supporting mathematics in the marine biology classroom. We find that marine biology topics containing the most mathematics are either close to the instructorâ€™s research area or were introduced through externally-developed educational resources. Finally, we analyze groups of topics that appear connected to each other more frequently in order to inform both interdisciplinary education development as well as disciplinary support. We also suggest ways to use network metrics to track interdisciplinary connections over time, helping us understand the impact of interventions on interdisciplinary teaching practice.Competing Interest StatementThis study is supported by a subaward through NSF IUSE #1625771 and #1822451, Bates College, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
ER -