Defining Moments An Interdisciplinary Project to Preserve the Historic Present for the Future

Part I: Introduction

Session Outcomes

Participants to this session will learn how to:

  1. Design a virtual learning activity for an interdisciplinary project.
  2. Create a collaborative team to implement a project that involves several disciplines.
  3. Explore best practices and rules for interdisciplinary projects in terms of FERPA and copyright.
  4. Preserve student artifacts into an online Archive.

Innovative Teaching and Learning

Pandemic Goals

  • Use this disruption as an incubator for innovation to continue to move UTSA forward
  • Listen to our students and adapt based on feedback
  • Engage faculty in new structures of support

Tactical Team

During the Spring of 2020, a Tactical Team for Undergraduate and Masters Education (UME) was designed to build recommendations for Fall 2020 focusing on pedagogical and technical approaches that encouraged experiential learning. By necessity, these recommendations were shaped by the realities of public health operations necessitated by the current pandemic. Emphasis was placed on personalizing the student learning experience to solidify students’ identities as Roadrunners with a strong affinity for UTSA during this pandemic. See: Tactical Team Charge and Report

Academic Innovation

Academic Innovation brings together experts in teaching and learning to inspire and support faculty in envisioning innovative and creative practices that strengthen and transform the academic experiences of our students and faculty.

Part II: Interdisciplinary Project

Defining Moments: An Interdisciplinary Project

The Purpose

How to help students grapple with changes and movements that were affecting their lives while capturing the moment and preserving it for the future?
How to provide experiential learning that encourages deep thinking in a virtual learning environment?
How to promote unity and support amongst UTSA students and faculty during a time of social distancing?

The Project

It Took a Pandemic to Bring Us Together

Faculty Perspective

Collaborative Team; 6 Disciplines

Student Perspective

"I felt like someone could hear my story and my pain. Seeing how deaths are treated as a statistic and people are still going out, it feels like people don't understand the consequences of their actions. I feel like I have a platform to speak on." (UTSA Student)
"I liked being able to read the experiences my peers went through, since it let me better understand what type of things they have experienced that are different from what I have experienced." (UTSA Student)

The Presentation & Preservation

Emily Johnson

In-Person Art, Music, and Dance Performance on a Stage Built by Students from the Architectural Department.
Virtual Showcase
Part III: The Process

The Process

How to Collaborate and Create an Interdisciplinary Project

  1. Purpose
  2. Plan
  3. Prepare
  4. Proceed
  5. Present
  6. Assess
Part IV: Future of Project

Preparing for the Future

Claudia Arcolin

Adaptable to Any Learning Modality
Continuous Collaboration - to Maintain Innovation - Deeper Learning
Common UTSA Experience - Form Identity
V. Discussion


Lessons Learned

Question and Answer


  • Arcolin, Claudia (claudia.arcolin@utsa.edu): Academic Innovation
  • Johnson, Emily (emily.johnson@utsa.edu): Library
  • Howell, Jourdan Laine (jourdan.howell@utsa.edu): Music
  • Peterson, Jodi (jodi.peterson@utsa.edu): History

Other Participating Faculty

  • Bagarozy, John: Architecture
  • Hernandez, Ernest: Academic Innovation
  • Ivie, DeeAnn: Library
  • Jordan, Lila: Academic Innovation
  • McCoin, Mark: Art
  • Rulewicz, Megan: Dance
  • Saenz, Humberto: Art
  • Vance, David: Creative Writing
  • Wickman, Ethan: Music

Other Videos:


Created with images by 422737 - "puzzle last particles piece" • Alexandra_Koch - "students mouth guard corona" • sweetlouise - "sanitizing cleaning hands" • MichaelGaida - "musician street scene street musicians"