Teach the Earth > Course Design > Workshop 2012 > Overview

Workshop Overview

Columnar basalts, Iceland. Image credit: Barbara Tewksbury.
Many challenges exist for those teaching mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry in the 21st century. What can we do to make mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry as relevant as possible to 21st century students? What are the frontiers, leading edge ideas, and grand challenges in these fields, and how can we teach those topics effectively? Can GIS and remote sensing be effectively integrated into these courses? For curricula that are shifting the focus of their required courses, what is the most effective way of designing "hybrid" courses, e.g., a 1-semester course in Earth materials that might be a student's only experience in mineralogy and petrology? How can we enhance the effectiveness of courses in mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry by incorporating best practices in pedagogy and assessment?

Workshop goals

First and foremost, this workshop will help participants develop effective and innovative courses for majors at the undergraduate level in mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry. In order to accomplish this, participants will:

Over the course of the workshop, we will have synchronous online discussions, as well and some optional sessions, on a variety of topics of potential interest to participants. These topics will include, but are not limited to:

Format and dates

Mingled magmas, East Iceland. Image credit: Barbara Tewksbury.
The events of this workshop are spread out over about eight months to give participants time for development, feedback, and testing. The workshop will take place largely on line but will have one face-to-face opportunity, which previous course design workshop participants have found enormously valuable. Here is the schedule:

Expectations of all participants

All participants are expected to:

Application and selection criteria

To be considered for participation in this workshop, an applicant must hold a faculty position at a two- or four-year college or university. We welcome applications from faculty who teach mineralogy, petrology, and/or geochemistry at the undergraduate level. This virtual workshop is limited to 30 participants, and the final list of participants will be established with the goal of assembling a group representing a wide range of experiences, educational environments, and specialties. Application must be made on line by March 1, 2012 and successful applicants will be notified by March 7, 2012.


The registration fee for this workshop is $50. The cost of the workshop is partially supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation as part of the professional development program On the Cutting Edge. Participants will pay the workshop registration after acceptance to the workshop at the time they confirm their participation.

Further information

Contact Barbara Tewksbury (btewksbu@hamilton.edu)

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