Cutting Edge > Paleontology

Teaching Paleontology

Paleontology has played a central role in deciphering the history of the Earth, including the rates and dates of tectonic activity, evolution, climate change, and large impact events. Paleontology uses both qualitative and quantitative methods, and can be incorporated throughout the geoscience curriculum. This site provides resources for designing or augmenting an undergraduate paleontology course with an eye for new pedagogic methods, high-quality teaching activities, and the current research into what works in the classroom.

Course Design & Pedagogy | Resource Collections | Special Topics | Workshops & Events | Get Involved

Designing an Effective Paleontology Course

1. Set goals

Explore example learning goals for Paleontology from your colleagues. Learn more about setting effective course goals in the Course Design Tutorial. You can also explore course goals from others' Paleontology courses using the syllabi available in the course collection.

2. Consider assessment options

Aligning your assessment strategies with the goals of your course is an essential part of the design process. You can learn more about assessment in the section about Assessing Student Learning in the Course Design tutorial and through our module on Observing and Assessing Student Learning.

3. Select pedagogies and specific teaching activities

The pedagogic techniques highlighted below can provide inspiration as you consider various approaches that will help your students achieve your course goals. The resource collections are organized to provide a rich set of materials to draw from in constructing the specific set of learning experiences you want for your students. Finally, explore the more in-depth information and ideas available in special topics.

Selected Pedagogical Approaches

Paleontology courses help students build a variety of qualitative and quantitative skills and critical thinking abilities. In addition to the page linked below, a selection of pedagogies that lend themselves to skill development can be found in the Teaching Methods collection.

Resource Collections

Once you've identified the core learning goals for your course, you can use them to focus your search for relevant materials in our resource collections. The materials listed below reflect the contributions of faculty members from across the country.

Special Topics

Workshops and Events

Get Involved


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