Paper No. 17
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF DISCIPLINE BASED EDUCATION RESEARCH AND ITS IMPACT ON THE WRITING SKILLS OF STUDENTS IN A GRADUATE GEOSCIENCE EDUCATION COURSE
As research on student learning in the geosciences becomes more prominent, college instructors seek to modify courses to incorporate research findings and increase mastery of content. A graduate course was developed within the department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences at NCSU to introduce graduate students to research in discipline based education research (DBER) in university settings and better prepare them for an academic future that would involve instruction as a teaching assistant or faculty member. Course objectives included recognizing the conditions necessary for learning to occur in college classes, planning lessons that addressed geoscience literacy standards and incorporated multiple levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, and designing a geoscience education research project. The class read 54 articles from several disciplines (e.g., geoscience, physics, life sciences, educational psychology), with each graduate student reading more than 30 articles. Students composed weekly 350-500 word summaries for the articles with the aim of producing an annotated bibliography that would be of value to others in the geoscience community seeking an introduction to DBER scholarship. We will share the contents of the bibliography with the geoscience community via a website coauthored by all class members.
One unanticipated consequence of this process was the improvement in the scientific writing skills of participating students. The writing assignments in this course require students to not only understand current research, but be able to locate and summarize the most important methodology and research findings. In-class discussions were utilized to characterize the features of an effective article summary, but there was no explicit instructor feedback on individual student work. We will report on the application of a post-hoc rubric that was developed to analyze the quality of student summaries and to determine if there was measureable improvement of writing over the semester. Instructors can utilize results from this case study to identify a potential intervention in their courses that has the potential to improve students’ scientific understanding and writing skills.