School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation Kyushu University

POLICY

ISI establishes the following policies.

Diploma Policy (Policy on the Awarding of Academic Degrees)

The Purpose of Education

 Today, we are living in a time of change on a scale unprecedented in the history of humanity. This stems from the fact that rapid advances in science and technology and the march of globalization are having a disruptive impact on the nature of human and other life, together with our societies, countries, regions, and the global environment. These changes offer new possibilities for humanity, such as the potential to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and the IoT. However, they have also triggered a variety of issues, including transformations on a global scale, dwindling biodiversity, religious and ethnic conflict, terrorism, transnational crime, poverty and inequality, energy resource issues, and food problems. As most of these problems stem from a complex web of contributory factors, solving them within the confines of a single conventional academic discipline is extremely difficult. Now, more than ever, we need to carve out a new future by finding appropriate ways to combine the array of academic knowledge that humanity has built up through history to resolve the issues that we face.

 ISI awards the degree of Bachelor of Arts and Sciences to those who have acquired the interdisciplinary problem-solving skills that give them the desire to tackle the problems faced by modern society and enable them to contribute solving those problems.

Benchmark Standards

 In a departure from conventional discipline-based specialist education, ISI aims to ensure that students acquire expertise in interdisciplinary problem-solving skills by providing the specialist knowledge and skills required by each student to frame problems for themselves and attempt to solve them, while also leveraging and combining their knowledge to create new approaches and methodologies for solving problems. As it is consequently inappropriate to cite conventional benchmark standards for individual disciplines, we use the benchmark standards in the document below, which provides a relatively good explanation of ISI’s academic framework and the reasons for this.

Learning Objectives

  • A-1. (Proactive Learning) Students can identify problems for themselves and scrutinize and consider them creatively and critically, informed by in-depth specialist knowledge and a wide-ranging liberal arts education.
  • A-2. (Collaboration) Students can exchange diverse knowledge and work with others to solve problems.
  • B-1. (Knowledge and Understanding) Students have an adequate knowledge of the basic and applied science required to solve problems, and can explain it with reference to real-world problems.
  • B-2. (Information literacy) Students understand that mathematical sciences and data science form part of their basic literacy and have a comprehension of them that transcends the boundaries between the humanities and science, with the ability to give explanations accordingly.
  • C-1-1. (Design Thinking) Students can devise approaches aimed at identifying and solving problems to create new social value and generate innovation.
  • C-1-2. (International Communication Skills) Students have the communication skills required to explain their solutions to many people around the world in order to gain their understanding and cooperation, so that those solutions can be implemented.
  • C-1-3. (Active Learning Skills) Students have their own awareness of problems and can actively research the knowledge and skills required to solve those problems.
  • C-2-1. (Creative Task-Framing Skills) Students can frame tasks appropriately to address real-life problems and propose solutions by combining existing knowledge.
  • C-2-2. (Practical Teamwork Skills) Students can discuss with others the solutions they have devised and combine their own ideas with the knowledge and skills of others, working together to propose a feasible solution.
  • D. (Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving Skills) Students can work on solving real-life problems, drawing upon the four component skills, namely active learning skills, creative task-framing skills, practical teamwork skills, and international communication skills.

Curriculum Policy (Policy on Academic Programs and Their Organization)

 We have organized the academic programs in accordance with the appended table (Curriculum Map), in order to achieve the diploma policy.

 Proactive learning and collaboration skills (A-1,2) are cultivated through KIKAN Education Subjects, including subjects that attach importance to active learning (KIKAN Education Seminar, Interdisciplinary Collaborative Learning of Social Issues), subjects aimed at improving the abilities required in our ICT-based international society (Theory of Cyber Security), subjects focused on the acquisition of operational proficiency in other languages and international understanding as part of a liberal arts education (Academic English, Second Foreign Language), subjects aimed at gaining proficiency in English through departmental education (English for Departmental Education), subjects that teach basic knowledge related to departmental education and ways of thinking in various fields (Subjects in Humanities and Social Sciences, Subjects in Sciences), subjects aimed at improving life skills (Health and Sports), and subjects aimed at instilling a diverse array of knowledge and promoting more in-depth learning (General Subjects, KIKAN Education Subjects for Students in the 2nd year and above).

 These subjects foster active learners who continue to study and who have both the will and the ability to take action to address various challenges, both known and unknown to them, which is the key to continuing to learn throughout one’s life. Through departmental education subjects, ISI builds on these foundations with a curriculum designed to instill in students the active learning skills, creative task-framing skills, practical teamwork skills, and international communication skills cited in the Diploma Policy, and interdisciplinary problem-solving skills gained through the acquisition of these four skills. The curriculum is organized as described below.

Class Subject Categories

 To develop this basic learning in stages into learning aimed at progressive and practical problem solving, we have divided class subjects into a number of categories: Common Basic Subjects, Reflective Subjects (Area Basic Subjects, Cross-Area Subjects), Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation Subjects (Area Advanced Subjects, Degree Projects), Collaborative Subjects, and Experiential Subjects.

 The term “areas” refers to academic realms providing perspectives for approaching the sustainability of the planet, which is ISI’s common theme. Taking into consideration the increasingly complex nature of issues relating to the planet and humankind, we have established four areas: Humans and Life, People and Society, States and Regions, and Earth and Environment. In the Reflective Subjects category, the Area Basic Subjects courses are designed to provide students with a basic knowledge of each area, while the Cross-Area Subjects are designed to cultivate knowledge that cuts across the boundaries between areas. In the Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation Subjects category, Area Advanced Subjects are designed to cultivate more specialist knowledge particular to each area.

Curriculum Structure

 International Communication Skills (C-1-2. Students have the communication skills required to explain their solutions to many people around the world in order to gain their understanding and cooperation, so that those solutions can be implemented), which form the basis for learning at ISI, and Knowledge and Understanding (B-1. Students have an adequate knowledge of the basic and applied science required to solve problems, and can explain it with reference to real-world problems), which aim to cultivate a specialist knowledge and understanding of basic science, are cultivated through subject clusters primarily centered on the KIKAN Education Subjects and the Common Basic Subjects and Reflective Subjects (Area Basic Subjects and Cross-Area Subjects) that follow on from them in the second year. In addition, Information literacy (B-2. Regarding mathematical sciences and data science as basic literacy, students have an understanding that transcends the boundaries between the humanities and science, and can explain them), which is required to solve all social issues, and Design Thinking (C-1-1. Students can devise approaches aimed at identifying and solving problems to create new social value and innovation), which is required to create social value and generate innovation, are cultivated through subject clusters taken at the same time.

 Active Learning Skills (C-1-3 Students have their own awareness of problems and can actively research the knowledge and skills required to solve those problems) are fostered through Common Basic Subjects and Reflective Subjects (Area Basic Subjects and Cross-Area Subjects), which are offered from the second half of the first year, nurturing in students a broad perspective and basic thinking processes.

 Creative Task-Framing Skills (C-2-1. Students can frame tasks appropriately to address real-life problems and propose solutions by combining existing knowledge) are cultivated through Reflective Subjects (Area Basic Subjects) starting in the second year and through Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation Subjects (Area Advanced Subjects) in the third year, instilling in students the diverse academic approaches required to solve problems.

 Practical Teamwork Skills (C-2-2. Students can discuss with others the solutions they have devised and combine their own ideas with the knowledge and skills of others, working together to propose a feasible solution) are cultivated through Collaborative Subjects and Experiential Subjects. Collaborative Subjects use the techniques of TBL/PBL to progressively flesh out the collaboration fostered in KIKAN Education Subjects, with students working in groups to address challenges that combine a variety of realms. The objective of these subjects is to learn techniques and skills for working with others to solve problems, while tapping into each individual’s knowledge and strengths. In the case of Experiential Subjects, Japanese students are required to undertake a mandatory period of study abroad at a university overseas, while international students are expected to undertake an internship at a company within Japan, in principle.

 As Collaborative Subjects and Experiential Subjects seek to provide students with an understanding of different historical and cultural backgrounds and values, while improving linguistic ability (language skills) and communication skills, they assist in the progressive development of more advanced international communication skills. Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving Skills (D. Students can work on solving real-life problems, drawing upon the four component skills, namely active learning skills, creative task-framing skills, practical teamwork skills, and international communication skills) refers to the ability—gained through mastery of the four component skills—to tackle problem solving in a creative way by organically and optimally linking various discipline-based methodologies and to address problems through teamwork. This is demonstrated via the Degree Projects element of the Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation Subjects, in which students tackle a problem that they have set themselves, aiming to find a creative solution centered on the area that they have defined as offering the appropriate approach route for solving that problem.

[Ongoing Curriculum Review Mechanism (Internal Quality Assurance)]

   The curriculum is divided into four levels.

・Introductory Level: At this level, students acquire the foundations of their basic attitude to learning (active learning skills) and foreign language communication (international communication skills). As a general rule, these courses are taken in the first year.

・Basic Level: At this level, students explore the foundation areas (creative task-framing skills) and master the basics of how to use the fundamental knowledge and skills in their preferred foundational area (practical teamwork skills), as well as experiencing their use in preselected situations. As a general rule, these courses are taken in the second year.

・Applied Level: At this level, students master extended knowledge and skills in their foundational area and methodologies for their application (practical teamwork skills). These courses are mainly taken in the third and final year.

・Interdisciplinary Level: This is positioned as the level at which students start to put their interdisciplinary problem-solving skills into practice through the integration of the four skill sets they have mastered (active learning skills, creative task-framing skills, practical teamwork skills, and international communication skills). These courses are taken in the final year.

   The level of achievement of learning objectives is assessed at the end of each course period in accordance with each learning process, on the basis of the Assessment Plan below. Based on the results of this assessment, the need for improvements in such areas as teaching methods on individual courses and the configuration of courses is considered by the School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation Academic Affairs Committee, thereby promoting the management of teaching and learning.

Assessment Plan

   The School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation has set out 5 one point rubrics to evaluate the level of achievement in regard to the four skills specified in the diploma policies, namely active learning skills, creative task-framing skills, practical teamwork skills, and international communication skills, and also the interdisciplinary problem-solving skills that ultimately integrate them. The rubrics for all the departmental education courses have been prepared in a form that fleshes out one point rubrics corresponding to the diploma policies of each course to facilitate their use in educational settings. Accordingly, each evaluation of the level of learning achievement in each individual course corresponding to the five diploma policies itself serves as an assessment plan for the respective diploma policy, thereby supporting the quality assurance of education at the School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation.

   More specifically, when conducting the final assessment of the level of achievement, assessment at each level of learning is based on the learning process, as follows.

(1) Evaluation of the level of achievement at the Introductory Level: Checked via grades for KIKAN Education Courses and Common Basic courses, the results of class questionnaires from KIKAN Education, and results of analysis of the content of Study Records and Study Plans at tutorials.

(2) Evaluation of the level of achievement at the Basic Level: Checked via grades for Common Basic courses, Reflective courses (Cross-Area courses and Area Basic courses), and Collaborative courses (Basic Project for Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation); number of students in each class and their attendance status; and the results of class questionnaires from departmental education.

(3) Evaluation of the level of achievement at the Applied Level: Checked via grades for Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation courses (Area Advanced courses and Degree Project 1), Collaborative courses (Project for Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation), Experiential courses, and Area Advanced courses; status of learning advice sought from learning navigators; and the finalization of the student’s choice of major area.

(4) Evaluation of the level of achievement at the Interdisciplinary Level: Checked via the content of the presentation for Degree Project 3 and grades for Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation courses (Degree Projects 2 and 3) involving the creation of solutions to problems.

Admissions Policy (Policy on Accepting Entrants)

For students entering before AY2020