ENHANCING STUDENT-CENTERED TEACHING PRACTICES: APPROACHES DEVELOPED ON THE NEW CUTTING EDGE GEOSCIENCES RTOP WEBSITE
The Geoscience RTOP Assessment Project team developed an online resource to serve as a guide for instructors seeking to modify their classroom environments to incorporate teaching practices that have been demonstrated to improve student learning. We have developed a website to: 1) Describe the RTOP research project, 2) Summarize the research literature on the relationships between reform teaching and student learning, 3) Document the utility of the RTOP as a quantitative measure of reform teaching and 4) Demonstrate how RTOP scores can be utilized by geoscience faculty to assess their teaching practice.
The RTOP website includes data that documents scoring trends from RTOP observations for both high and low scoring classrooms, and a guide instructors can use to modify their teaching practice. These modifications may range from modest changes to existing teaching strategies to more in-depth classroom activities based on RTOP categories. The site includes examples of strategies from a range of sample classes similar to those taught at all types of higher education institutions. Simple scenarios are provided for each RTOP category along with data to explain common practices of student-centered classroom instructors.