Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 8:55 AM
ON THE CUTTING EDGE AND A DECADE OF TRANSFORMING GEOSCIENCE EDUCATION
On the Cutting Edge, a comprehensive professional development program for geoscience faculty, aims to develop a geoscience professoriate committed to high-quality instruction based on currency in scientific knowledge, good pedagogic practice, and research on learning. We have worked to support a community in which faculty are engaged in learning from one another, sharing resources, and working collaboratively to improve teaching; a community in which faculty improve their teaching by designing courses using best practices and research-based methods to foster higher-order thinking, incorporate geoscience data and quantitative methods, and attend to affective and cognitive aspects of learning; and a community in which faculty are comfortable and successful in managing their careers. Our program addresses the needs of faculty in all career stages at the full spectrum of institutions and covering the breadth of the geoscience curriculum. We promote sharing, synthesis, and ownership, and have developed a mechanism to revise contributed resources. We select timely and compelling topics and create opportunities of interest to faculty. We disseminate resources widely, providing rapid and reliable access by the entire community. We offer an integrated workshop series and a website of resources, and the program has fostered the development of a variety of faculty networks. Since 2002, we have offered more than 100 face-to-face and virtual workshops, webinars, journal clubs, and other events. Participants come from two-year colleges and four-year colleges and universities. Our workshops are interactive, emphasize participant learning, provide opportunities for participants to interact and share experience/knowledge, provide good resources, give participants time to reflect and to develop action plans, and help transform their ideas about teaching. The website includes 47 modules on career management, pedagogy, and geoscience topics and 1800 instructional activities contributed by the community with a review structure in place. The website had 1.3 million visitors last year. In addition to establishing a community that learns from one another, On the Cutting Edge has had an impact on teaching verified by data from national surveys, interview and classroom observation studies, and website usage.