29 research outputs found

    Improving undergraduate STEM education: The efficacy of discipline-based professional development

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    We sought to determine whether instructional practices used by undergraduate faculty in the geosciences have shifted from traditional teacher-centered lecture toward student-engaged teaching practices and to evaluate whether the national professional development program On the Cutting Edge (hereinafter Cutting Edge) has been a contributing factor in this change. We surveyed geoscience faculty across the United States in 2004, 2009, and 2012 and asked about teaching practices as well as levels of engagement in education research, scientific research, and professional development related to teaching. We tested these self-reported survey results with direct observations of teaching using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol, and we conducted interviews to understand what aspects of Cutting Edge have supported change. Survey data show that teaching strategies involving active learning have become more common, that these practices are concentrated in faculty who invest in learning about teaching, and that faculty investment in learning about teaching has increased. Regression analysis shows that, after controlling for other key influences, faculty who have participated in Cutting Edge programs and who regularly use resources on the Cutting Edge website are statistically more likely to use active learning teaching strategies. Cutting Edge participants also report that learning about teaching, the availability of teaching resources, and interactions with peers have supported changes in their teaching practice. Our data suggest that even one-time participation in a workshop with peers can lead to improved teaching by supporting a combination of affective and cognitive learning outcomes

    Learning from the COVID-19 Pandemic: How Faculty Experiences Can Prepare Us for Future System-Wide Disruption

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    The COVID-19 pandemic provided education researchers with a natural experiment: an opportunity to investigate the impacts of a system-wide, involuntary move to online teaching and to assess the characteristics of individuals who adapted more readily. To capture the impacts in real time, our team recruited college-level geoscience instructors through the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) and American Geophysical Union (AGU) communities to participate in our study in the spring of 2020. Each weekday for three successive weeks, participants (n = 262) were asked to rate their experienced disruption in four domains: teaching, research, ability to communicate with their professional community, and work-life balance. The rating system (a scale of 1–5, with 5 as severely disrupted) was designed to assess (a) where support needs were greatest, (b) how those needs evolved over time, and (c) respondents’ capacity to adapt. In addition, participants were asked two open-response questions, designed to provide preliminary insights into how individuals were adapting—what was their most important task that day and what was their greatest insight from the previous day. Participants also provided information on their institution type, position, discipline, gender, race, dependents, and online teaching experience (see supplemental material)

    Principles and Practices Fostering Inclusive Excellence: Lessons from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Capstone Institutions

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    Best-practices pedagogy in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) aims for inclusive excellence that fosters student persistence. This paper describes principles of inclusivity across 11 primarily undergraduate institutions designated as Capstone Awardees in Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) 2012 competition. The Capstones represent a range of institutional missions, student profiles, and geographical locations. Each successfully directed activities toward persistence of STEM students, especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups, through a set of common elements: mentoring programs to build community; research experiences to strengthen scientific skill/ identity; attention to quantitative skills; and outreach/bridge programs to broaden the student pool. This paper grounds these program elements in learning theory, emphasizing their essential principles with examples of how they were implemented within institutional contexts. We also describe common assessment approaches that in many cases informed programming and created traction for stakeholder buy-in. The lessons learned from our shared experiences in pursuit of inclusive excellence, including the resources housed on our companion website, can inform others’ efforts to increase access to and persistence in STEM in higher education

    Geoscience Education Perspectives on Integrated, Coordinated, Open, Networked (ICON) Science

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    Practitioners and researchers in geoscience education embrace collaboration applying ICON (Integrated, Coordinated, Open science, and Networked) principles and approaches ICON principles and approaches have been used to create and share large collections of educational resources, to move forward collective priorities, and to foster peer-learning among educators. These strategies can also support the advancement of coproduction between geoscientists and diverse communities. For this reason, many authors from the geoscience education community have co-created three commentaries on the use and future of ICON in geoscience education. We envision that sharing our expertise with ICON practice will be useful to other geoscience communities seeking to strengthen collaboration. Geoscience education brings substantial expertise in social science research and its application to building individual and collective capacity to address earth sustainability and equity issues at local to global scales The geoscience education community has expanded its own ICON capacity through access to and use of shared resources and research findings, enhancing data sharing and publication, and leadership development. We prioritize continued use of ICON principles to develop effective and inclusive communities that increase equity in geoscience education and beyond, support leadership and full participation of systemically non-dominant groups and enable global discussions and collaborations

    Teaching Geoscience with Visualizations

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    Teaching Geoscience with Visualizations brings together the expertise of visualization designers, educators, and cognitive scientists to provide useful information on how to employ quality visualizations of geoscience topics in the classroom. The website offers pedagogical information on what constitutes a "good" educational visualization, tips and tools educators can use to create their own visualizations, essays and posters from participants in a visualization workshop, teaching activities which employ visualizations, and a large collection of links to quality visualizations of geoscience topics. Educational levels: Graduate or professional, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

    Teaching with Games: Online Resources and Examples for Entry-Level Courses

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    Using games to teach introductory geoscience can motivate students to enthusiastically learn material that they might otherwise condemn as boring . A good educational game is one that immerses the players in the material and engages them for as long as it takes to master that material. There are some good geoscience games already available, but instructors can also create their own, suitable to their students and the content that they are teaching. Game-Based Learning is a module on the Starting Point website for faculty teaching entry level geosciences. It assists faculty in using games in their teaching by providing a description of the features of game-based learning, why you would use it, how to use games to teach geoscience, examples, and references. Other issues discussed include the development of video games for teaching, having your students create educational games, what makes a good game, handling competition in the classroom, and grading. The examples include descriptions of and rules for a GPS treasure hunt, a geology quiz show, and an earthquake game, as well as links to several online geological video games, and advice on how to design a paleontology board game. Starting Point is intended to help both experienced faculty and new instructors meet the challenge of teaching introductory geoscience classes, including environmental science and oceanography as well as more traditional geology classes. For many students, these classes are both the first and the last college-level science class that they will ever take. They need to learn enough about the Earth in that one class to sustain them for many decades as voters, consumers, and sometimes even as teachers. Starting Point is produced by a group of authors working with the Science Education Resource Center. It contains dozens of detailed examples categorized by geoscience topic with advice about using them and assessing learning. Each example is linked to one of many modules, such as Game-Based Learning, Interactive Lectures, or Using an Earth History Approach. These modules describe teaching tools and techniques, provide examples and advice about using them in an introductory geoscience class, and give instructors details on how to create their own exercises

    Teaching with Games: Online Resources and Examples for Entry-Level Courses

    No full text
    Using games to teach introductory geoscience can motivate students to enthusiastically learn material that they might otherwise condemn as boring . A good educational game is one that immerses the players in the material and engages them for as long as it takes to master that material. There are some good geoscience games already available, but instructors can also create their own, suitable to their students and the content that they are teaching. Game-Based Learning is a module on the Starting Point website for faculty teaching entry level geosciences. It assists faculty in using games in their teaching by providing a description of the features of game-based learning, why you would use it, how to use games to teach geoscience, examples, and references. Other issues discussed include the development of video games for teaching, having your students create educational games, what makes a good game, handling competition in the classroom, and grading. The examples include descriptions of and rules for a GPS treasure hunt, a geology quiz show, and an earthquake game, as well as links to several online geological video games, and advice on how to design a paleontology board game. Starting Point is intended to help both experienced faculty and new instructors meet the challenge of teaching introductory geoscience classes, including environmental science and oceanography as well as more traditional geology classes. For many students, these classes are both the first and the last college-level science class that they will ever take. They need to learn enough about the Earth in that one class to sustain them for many decades as voters, consumers, and sometimes even as teachers. Starting Point is produced by a group of authors working with the Science Education Resource Center. It contains dozens of detailed examples categorized by geoscience topic with advice about using them and assessing learning. Each example is linked to one of many modules, such as Game-Based Learning, Interactive Lectures, or Using an Earth History Approach. These modules describe teaching tools and techniques, provide examples and advice about using them in an introductory geoscience class, and give instructors details on how to create their own exercises

    Geologic cross section – Hazard Creek Complex, Little Goose Creek Complex, and Payette River Complex: Supplement 2 from "Geology and geochemistry of the oceanic arc-continent boundary in the western Idaho batholith near McCall" (Thesis)

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    NOTE: Text or symbols not renderable in plain ASCII are indicated by [...]. Abstract is included in .pdf document. A major lithospheric boundary is preserved within the western Idaho Batholith. The juxtaposition of two suites of supracrustal rocks, exposed as sheets within intrusive rocks, is the expression of this boundary at the level of exposure. The western suite of mafic layered gneisses are inferred to be metamorphosed oceanic arc rocks; the eastern suite of biotite schist, quartzite and calc-silicate gneiss are inferred to be metamorphosed continental sedimentary rocks. Three broadly Cretaceous, plutonic and meta-plutonic complexes record the presence of the boundary at greater depth. The Hazard Creek complex, west of the supracrustal boundary, is comprised of epidote-bearing intrusives. The Little Goose Creek complex is comprised primarily of the porphyritic orthogneiss that intruded the supracrustal boundary. The Payette River complex, east of the supracrustal boundary, is comprised of large bodies of tonalite and granite. Each complex has a distinct geochemical character. The Hazard Creek complex is dominantly a tonalite-trondhjemite suite characterized by [...] less than .7045, [...] less than 8.4, high Sr, Na2O and Al2O3 concentrations and low MgO, Rb and K2O concentrations. Porphyritic orthogneiss in the Little Goose Creek complex has a remarkable range in [...] and [...] (.7042-.7097,8.0-10.7). The porphyritic orthogneiss is interpreted as dominated by two components: one similar in composition to the Hazard Creek complex and a second, modeled as Precambrian sedimentary material, with high [...], [...] and K2O concentrations and lower Sr concentration. The Payette River complex has generally high [...] (.7076-.7100) and variable [...](7.2-10.4). The geochemical changes indicate that the supracrustal boundary is the surface expression of a steeply-dipping structure which juxtaposes oceanic-arc lithosphere against continental lithosphere. An abrupt geochemical discontinuity preserved within the porphyritic orthogneiss, near the change in supracrustal rocks, may reflect an abrupt discontinuity at depth or may be due to the juxtapositon of portions of a stratified pluton. The juxtaposition of lithospheric blocks must have occured prior to intrusion of the porphyritic orthogneiss approximately 111 Ma, and most probably, occured before 118 Ma, prior to the beginning of plutonism. No structural evidence for the initial formation of the boundary is recognized; it is proposed to form by transform faulting or by rifting followed by convergence. Episodic or continuous deformation along the boundary began prior to 118 Ma and produced four sets of structures. The oldest structures are foliation and isoclinal folding of crystalloblastic gneisses which may have formed during rapid burial of oceanic-arc rocks west of the boundary. Compressive deformation, forming north-south striking steeply-dipping foliations and steeply-plunging lineations in the eastern portion of the Hazard Creek complex, was broadly coeval with its emplacement. Igneous foliation and lineation with similar orientation formed during emplacement of the Payette River complex around 90 Ma. The youngest penetrative deformation formed similarly oriented, mylonitic fabrics in a 10 km wide zone centered on the boundary. All but the oldest structures are inferred to have formed by flattening and vertical flow in response to east-west compression. Deformation is interpreted to represent the response of a preexisting lithospheric boundary to compressive stresses related to subduction of material to the west

    Geologic map of the western border of the Idaho Batholith near McCall: Supplement 1 from "Geology and geochemistry of the oceanic arc-continent boundary in the western Idaho batholith near McCall" (Thesis)

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    NOTE: Text or symbols not renderable in plain ASCII are indicated by [...]. Abstract is included in .pdf document. A major lithospheric boundary is preserved within the western Idaho Batholith. The juxtaposition of two suites of supracrustal rocks, exposed as sheets within intrusive rocks, is the expression of this boundary at the level of exposure. The western suite of mafic layered gneisses are inferred to be metamorphosed oceanic arc rocks; the eastern suite of biotite schist, quartzite and calc-silicate gneiss are inferred to be metamorphosed continental sedimentary rocks. Three broadly Cretaceous, plutonic and meta-plutonic complexes record the presence of the boundary at greater depth. The Hazard Creek complex, west of the supracrustal boundary, is comprised of epidote-bearing intrusives. The Little Goose Creek complex is comprised primarily of the porphyritic orthogneiss that intruded the supracrustal boundary. The Payette River complex, east of the supracrustal boundary, is comprised of large bodies of tonalite and granite. Each complex has a distinct geochemical character. The Hazard Creek complex is dominantly a tonalite-trondhjemite suite characterized by [...] less than .7045, [...] less than 8.4, high Sr, Na2O and Al2O3 concentrations and low MgO, Rb and K2O concentrations. Porphyritic orthogneiss in the Little Goose Creek complex has a remarkable range in [...] and [...] (.7042-.7097,8.0-10.7). The porphyritic orthogneiss is interpreted as dominated by two components: one similar in composition to the Hazard Creek complex and a second, modeled as Precambrian sedimentary material, with high [...], [...] and K2O concentrations and lower Sr concentration. The Payette River complex has generally high [...] (.7076-.7100) and variable [...](7.2-10.4). The geochemical changes indicate that the supracrustal boundary is the surface expression of a steeply-dipping structure which juxtaposes oceanic-arc lithosphere against continental lithosphere. An abrupt geochemical discontinuity preserved within the porphyritic orthogneiss, near the change in supracrustal rocks, may reflect an abrupt discontinuity at depth or may be due to the juxtapositon of portions of a stratified pluton. The juxtaposition of lithospheric blocks must have occured prior to intrusion of the porphyritic orthogneiss approximately 111 Ma, and most probably, occured before 118 Ma, prior to the beginning of plutonism. No structural evidence for the initial formation of the boundary is recognized; it is proposed to form by transform faulting or by rifting followed by convergence. Episodic or continuous deformation along the boundary began prior to 118 Ma and produced four sets of structures. The oldest structures are foliation and isoclinal folding of crystalloblastic gneisses which may have formed during rapid burial of oceanic-arc rocks west of the boundary. Compressive deformation, forming north-south striking steeply-dipping foliations and steeply-plunging lineations in the eastern portion of the Hazard Creek complex, was broadly coeval with its emplacement. Igneous foliation and lineation with similar orientation formed during emplacement of the Payette River complex around 90 Ma. The youngest penetrative deformation formed similarly oriented, mylonitic fabrics in a 10 km wide zone centered on the boundary. All but the oldest structures are inferred to have formed by flattening and vertical flow in response to east-west compression. Deformation is interpreted to represent the response of a preexisting lithospheric boundary to compressive stresses related to subduction of material to the west
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