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Working Across the Disciplines/Shifting Perspectives: Student Experiences with an Online Course Focused on Interdisciplinary Practice with Children and Families

This article will describe how an online course used interactive exer­ cises to engage students in mutual exploration of cross and/or interdisci­ plinary work. The Faculty of Human and Social Development at the University of Victoria has a large distance education program to accom­ modate a geographically distributed student body. More than 65% of students enrolled in the Faculty’s Schools of Social Work, Child and Youth Care, and Nursing select distance education as their method of baccalaureate degree completion. Faculty from these three professional schools within the Faculty of Human and Social Development, in con­ sultation with several BSW and Human Service programs across the province of British Columbia, worked together to develop a thirteen week, 1.5 unit credit course Human and Social Development 465: Inter­ disciplinary Practice with Children and Families (HSD 465). The course was written by one of the authors (MacKenzie) and designed for dis­ tance education delivery using a fully integrated WebCT format. The course is delivered using WebCT with the course website providing the sole teaching/learning platform. In addition to the course website, print-based materials (a collection of readings and a student study guide) are produced and delivered via WebCt to support student learning.