CoNavigator – a gamified tool for creating coherence in interdisciplinary courses – University of Copenhagen

10 January 2017

CoNavigator – a gamified tool for creating coherence in interdisciplinary courses

How it all began

The tool CoNavigator – is a very direct result of the “Interdisciplinary education” project. As a PhD enrolled in this project, Lindvig has been studying the ways in which interdisciplinary research projects translates their research into educational activities (e.g. PhD programmes, undergraduate courses, summer schools). In one of the cases she studies, Hillersdal, a social anthropologist, was exploring how politically mobilized interdisciplinarity was translated into practice. At the end of a two year field study on these educational activities, Lindvig was approached by one of the course administrators and asked to step in and contribute to a summer school arranged by the research project. In order to make this happen, Lindvig teamed up with Hillersdal and Earle, who as a partner at the think tank Braintrust, was used to creating and developing interdisciplinary tools and processes.

The tool is inspired by a more lengthy workshop format (Braintrust Labs). The idea has been to boil the format down, from two days to just three hours, adding our knowledge and experience on interdisciplinary teaching and collaboration and thereby changing it into something that could be implemented in an interdisciplinary course. This required it to be easy to explain to students coming from all types of disciplines and backgrounds. Furthermore, it had to create links between modules which had already been put in place, and a range of faculties at different levels of teaching.

The tool has since then been tested in various settings and has proven to be a good way of breaking the ice and create meaningful conversations around an overall topic. Though the tool originally was developed for interdisciplinary courses, it is versatile and flexible enough to also be used as a kick-off activity for shorter seminars or even longer educational programmes.

In the process of developing this tool we have been greatly inspired by the idea of a Visual Lingua Franca, defined as visual languages systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing the same mother tongue. In the process we have also drawn on works by Szostak, the Toolbox-project, the Interdisciplinary studies project, Ground Zero as well as the td-net’s toolbox to name only a few. Furthermore a number of students and groups of colleagues have helped us test the tool in various rounds (a special thanks to the Edinburgh team including Catherine Lyall and Laura Meagher).

The project has produced 10 tool sets ready for use. If you would like to get an introduction to the tool or maybe include it in your interdisciplinary activity, please contact

If you would like to read more about the tool, an article has been published in the newsletter for the Association of Interdisciplinary Studies, Integrative Pathways.


Lindvig, K; Hillersdal, L ; Earle, D (2017). Interdisciplinary Tool Helps Fast-Track Interdisciplinary Learning and Collaboration. Integrative Pathways, vol. 39 (2)

Links for YouTube videos:


Mapping field

Mapping landscape


Selecting routes

Using toolkits