Creative innovation takes a (team teaching) family


  • Rebecca Pope-Ruark Elon University
  • Phillip Motley Elon University
  • William Moner Elon University



Team Teaching, Experiential Learning, Scholarly Personal Narrative, Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Curricular Innovation, co-teaching


Team teaching can be a valuable means of enabling cross-disciplinary collaboration, interdisciplinary study, and pedagogical innovation, but the logistical and intellectual challenges can seem too daunting to overcome. In this essay, we share the story of how four faculty members from professional writing, communications, and computing sciences developed a team teaching “family” as we imagined, created, launched, and ran an innovative experiential learning program at our university. The Design Thinking Studio in Social Innovation is a semester-long program worth four full courses of credit which brought us together with 14 intrepid students from across the university to learn and apply design thinking, Scrum project management, and social innovation theories to a large-scale civic engagement project. Here we explore the faculty lived experience during the pilot semester and how our teach teaching family was crucial to our personal and professional success in this high-stress environment. We then offer tips for creating your own team teaching “family.”


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Author Biographies

Rebecca Pope-Ruark, Elon University

Rebecca Pope-Ruark is Associate Professor of English at Elon University (USA). She coordinates and teaches in the professional writing and rhetoric major and is the author of Agile faculty: Practical strategies for managing research, service, and teaching (2017) from the University of Chicago Press.

Phillip Motley, Elon University

Phillip Motley is Associate Professor of Communications at Elon University (USA). He teaches visual communication and interactive media courses to undergraduate and graduate students and studies the pedagogies of studio- and project-based learning, service-learning, and social innovation.

William Moner, Elon University

William Moner is Assistant Professor of Communications at Elon University (USA). He teaches interactive media production and design processes to undergraduates and graduate students and studies participatory media systems and pedagogical methods for interdisciplinary innovation and creativity.


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How to Cite

Pope-Ruark, Rebecca, Phillip Motley, and William Moner. 2019. “Creative Innovation Takes a (team Teaching) Family”. Teaching and Learning Inquiry 7 (1):120-35.