2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 3:15 PM

A Course of One's Own: Issues, Challenges, and Resources for Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Fellows, and Early Career Faculty

MACDONALD, R. Heather, Department of Geology, College of William and Mary, PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187, ALLEN-KING, Richelle M., Geology, SUNY Buffalo, 876 Natural Science Complex, Buffalo, NY 14260, DUNBAR, Robyn Wright, Center for Teaching and Learning, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-3087, MANDUCA, Cathryn A., Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, 1 North College St, Northfield, MN 55057 and ORMAND, Carol J., Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, Northfield, MN 55057, rhmacd@wm.edu

Graduate students and early career faculty have many questions about teaching (e.g., how to engage and motivate students, how to design a course from scratch, how much time class preparation and grading should take, how to teach large courses, how to challenge the top students without losing those who are struggling, how to integrate research into teaching, how to mentor research students, and so forth). Teaching/learning centers, preparing future faculty programs, teaching assistant orientations, college and/or department courses on teaching provide support for new instructors. The professional development program, “On the Cutting Edge”, offers annual multi-day workshops for geoscience graduate students and for early career faculty as well as on-line resources to help instructors navigate these critical stages of their career. The workshops and website, based in part on the questions workshop participants ask about teaching, focus on research on learning, effective teaching strategies, course design, design of effective classroom activities, dealing with large classes, classroom management, what to do when your teaching isn't going well, and much more. In addition, participants in both workshops have many opportunities to talk informally with leaders and other participants, sharing questions, experiences, and strategies. The “Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences” webpages (http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/careerprep/index.html) address getting teaching experience, designing a course, planning an individual class session, and documenting one's teaching. The “Early Career Geoscience Faculty” webpages (http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/earlycareer/index.html) include resources for course design, effective teaching techniques, teaching large classes, assessment, and building one's teaching case for tenure. The site also includes several case studies of successful researchers and their collaborations with students. These resources provide information about topics not emphasized in discipline-based graduate education programs and are illustrated with examples from successful faculty members at a wide variety of colleges and universities.