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A “TRANSLATOR” TO BRIDGE DISCIPLINARY BOUNDARIES: AN EXPANSION OF AGENCY OF AN INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNER
Interdisciplinary education has been viewed as a way to give an edge to graduates in terms of developing creativity, innovation, ability to synthesize knowledge, and develop a range of professional skills (Haynes, 2017). However, the push towards interdisciplinarity as opposed to a disciplinary field is a challenge due to strong educational traditions, power dynamics, academic freedom, as well as the power faculty has to form their areas of research interest and disciplines (Ashby & Exter, 2019; Becher & Trowler, 2001; Klein, 2006). Likewise, the diversity of members of an interdisciplinary team can lead to negative forces that can only be overcome with open communication and understanding of both boundaries and ways to address them. This means that an interdisciplinary team may need to have a translator to help build common knowledge, facilitate engagement, and address tacit issues. Instructional designers have the potential to play a translator role. Rooted across the author’s three publications, the focus of this dissertation is to establish the vision for instructional designers getting a more proactive role on an interdisciplinary program design team (translator agency), where mediation of knowledge is needed across faculty to build a successful program.