GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 68-10
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


ST. JOHN, Kristen, Department of Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, KASTENS, Kim A., Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964-8000, MACDONALD, Heather, Department of Geology, College of William and Mary, PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187, MCDARIS, John R., Science Education Research Center, Carleton College, 1 North College St, Northfield, MN 55057 and MCNEAL, Karen S., Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695,

The NSF-IUSE funded Geoscience Education Research (GER) Community Synthesis and Planning Project focuses on advancing geoscience education research and strengthening the GER community of practice. It builds on needs identified from prior reports, focus groups, and surveys, including a project-supported 2016 community needs survey. Based on those findings, we proposed the following GER community priorities: (1) Expanding access to existing instruments and tools; (2) Developing an online toolbox that can serve new and active GER workers; (3) Developing resources and relationships to support GER career navigation; (4) Offering more targeted professional development; (5) Expanding and strengthening publication venues; (6) Exploring the use of data repositories to support meta-analyses and other studies; and (7) Supporting broader collaborations. We highlight two new online resources that address some of these priority needs: Development of a GER toolbox and digitization of past issues of the Journal of Geoscience Education (JGE).

The structure and development of an online GER toolbox focuses on six themes: Instruments and Surveys, Recommended Tools, Getting Published, Navigating a Career in GER, Conducting GER Studies across Institutions, and Translating GER Results into Practice. July 2016 workshop participants served as a ~45 person focus group, submitting information on these themes. Working groups identified subthemes and examples from those starting materials and others sources to draft the initial toolbox resources. Edited by the project leaders, the draft resources gained further feedback via review by groups with interest and expertise in the themes. The preliminary toolbox can be found on the NAGT website.

The second online resource is specific to “expanding and strengthen GER publications”. JGE has been published for 65 years, but only the last 15 years were available online. Therefore, while JGE is one of the primary scholarly outlets for geoscience education, ~80% of all published JGE articles were virtually inaccessible. Digitizing back issues is making all past print-only articles in JGE searchable and freely available for full text download. We expect this new online access will be valuable in supporting the community’s ability to do literature reviews and more fully synthesize results.