2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 244-4
Presentation Time: 1:55 PM


MCCONNELL, David A.1, MANDUCA, Cathryn2, BALDASSARI, Carol3, BRALOWER, Timothy4, EGGER, Anne E.5, GOSSELIN, David C.6, IVERSON, Ellen2, PELCH, Michael A.1, STEER, David7 and TABER, John8, (1)Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, (2)Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, 1 North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057, (3)Program Evaluation and Research Group, Endicott College, Beverly, MA 01915, (4)Department of Geosciences, Penn State University, University Park, PA 1682, (5)Geological Sciences and Science Education, Central Washington University, 400 E. University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7418, (6)Environmental Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 150 Hardin Hall, Lincoln, NE 68583-0941, (7)Department of Geosciences, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-4101, (8)IRIS, Washington, DC 20005

The NSF-funded InTeGrate project (http://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/index.html) seeks to develop, test, and disseminate geoscience educational resources for a variety of courses and disciplines so that they can provide the skills and information necessary for students to understand, plan for, and attempt to mitigate geoscience-related societal challenges. Teams of instructors, some formed in association with related topical workshops, were guided by pedagogy and assessment experts to create free online materials that can be readily deconstructed and reconfigured with local examples and materials to suit the needs of the specific instructor and/or learner.

We designed the professional development experience to use situated instructional coaching in an effort to overcome known barriers to pedagogical reform (e.g., time commitments, lack of experience). In this model, geoscience education experts (coaches) assist a team of faculty seeking to create teaching materials using research-validated instructional strategies. The faculty team create materials to support lessons with specific learning objectives, student activities, feedback, and assessments. Participants were guided through a series of checkpoints linked to the InTeGrate design rubric. The emphasis on coaching was progressively reduced as team members developed their own expertise with creating effective instructional materials. Participant reflections allowed us to observe how the professional development process impacted team member’s views of their instructional roles. We observed multiple lessons and assessed instructional practices using the Reformed Teaching Observational Protocol (RTOP). RTOP scores indicated that instructors were implementing the materials as intended. Participating instructors also completed the Teacher Beliefs Interview (TBI) early in the process and then again after piloting their materials. TBI data indicated a shift in the instructor’s beliefs toward a more student-centered perspective. This form of intensive professional development that provides support for instructors developing materials for inclusion in their own courses presents an alternative to the more traditional models (e.g., workshops) that have had lesser impacts on participating instructors.