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Abstract

Are there ways to document interdisciplinary learning, specifically the forms integration takes? This article reports on stage two of a Carnegie scholar project on interdisciplinary teaching and learning in learning communities at Holyoke Community College. In the first stage, the author used the Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome (SOLO) taxonomy as a course-level assessment rubric to document the strong relationship between learning community instruction and interdisciplinary learning. In this follow-up qualitative study to make interdisciplinary learning both visible and audible, the focus is on student writing, specifically the mechanisms students use to integrate their learning across learning community course levels and to develop integrative habits of mind. In-depth interviews were conducted with twelve learning community students or scholars using a Link Aloud method which preserves student voice in writing and conversation by drawing on two methods from cognitive psychology, concept mapping and verbal protocol analysis, where students “think aloud” while performing a task. After reviewing completed Link Alouds with the twelve student-scholars, twelve precise mechanisms of integration were identified.

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