Teaching Matters

Interdisciplinary online teaching and learning to examine sex crimes

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Teaching Matters 2017 | Presentation Details | 28 NovemberNov 2017


Interdisciplinary online teaching and learning to examine sex crimes


Jeremy Prichard, Law School
Caroline Spiranovic, Law School


Innovative Teaching for Successful Graduates

Presentation Type

Showcase Presentation


Social Sciences 211




Henry (2012: 76), among others, has underscored the need for interdisciplinary collaboration to tackle the “mega and complex problems” crime poses for society, warning against the “myopic” analyses that uni-disciplinary perspectives yield. While interdisciplinary research in crime is developing rapidly (Gonzalez & Akers, 2017), little attention has been paid to interdisciplinary teaching and learning ­– suggesting that undergraduates in crime-related disciplines are not being prepared for future research priorities.

This presentation discusses LAW658 Sex Crimes and Criminals, launched online in 2016. The unit presupposes the need for inter-disciplinerity because sex crimes are a “mega problem”; an estimated 1.83 million Australians have experienced at least one sexual crime since the age of 15 years. LAW658 incorporates teachers from multiple disciplines (vertical inter-disciplinerity) and students from different academic and professional backgrounds (horizontal inter-disciplinerity). Learning activities and formative assessment were designed to maximise peer teaching (Biggs & Tang, 2007). The presentation discusses apparent tensions between interdisciplinary learning and online delivery.


Biggs, J. & Tang, C. (2007). Teaching for quality learning at university: what the student does. (3rd ed.) Maidenhead, UK, McGraw-Hill/Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press.

Gonzalez, J. M. R., & Akers, T. A. (2017). ‘Transdisciplinary Research Perspective: Epidemiological Criminology as an Emerging Theoretical Framework for Substance Abuse Research’. In Research Methods in the Study of Substance Abuse (pp. 27-40). Springer, Cham.

Henry, S. (2012). ‘Expanding Our Thinking on Theorizing Criminology and Criminal Justice? The Place of Evolutionary Perspectives in Integrative Criminological Theory’. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Criminology, 4(1): 76.

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