Paper No. 104-5
Presentation Time: 9:05 AM
ON THE CUTTING EDGE: DEVELOPMENT OF A GEOSCIENCES COMMUNITY-GENERATED, PEER-REVIEWED TEACHING ACTIVITY COLLECTION
The vision of a peer-reviewed, digital collection of teaching activities had its origins in Shaping the Future NSF (96-139): "Develop an effective means of validating, codifying, and disseminating good practices in undergraduate SME&T education." The Geosciences were among the first STEM disciplines to respond with the Digital Library for Earth System Education (Community Plan, Mogk and Manduca, 2001), and the Cutting Edge (CE) Geoscience Faculty Professional Development program (2002). The combination of digital library technologies and face-to-face workshops proved to be a winning combination to recruit, discover, develop, review and disseminate new teaching activities. From the start, an ethic of sharing ("give a little, take a lot") and learning from each other was instilled in all CE events. Disciplinary and topical workshops were found to be effective catalytic events to build comprehensive and credentialed activity collections. The development of ActivitySheets was a successful mechanism that required authors to think deeply about their activities (learning goals, assessments, target audience, pedagogic approaches, resources needed). In addition, ActivitySheets reveal educational metadata that enabled searching and browsing by potential users, and to help them make informed decisions about the appropriate use of these activities in their classes. Review of teaching activities followed the Community Review System (Kastens, 2005), with criteria that include: scientific accuracy; alignment of learning goals, activities, and assessment; pedagogic effectiveness; robustness (usability and dependability of all components), and completeness of the ActivitySheet, although multiple pathways to the reviewed collections are also recognized. Authors' contributions are recognized as being "exemplary" or having "passed" the review for professional recognition. Review of the community-contributed teaching activities was initially done by CE workshop participants and continue at dedicated "review camps." In addition to the initial CE teaching activity collection (n~2200), the new NAGT Teach the Earth Portal also includes reviewed activities from sister projects (e.g., CLEAN, EET, InTeGrate), and there are now over 4500 activities in the collection, of which 564 are rated as "exemplary."