For many participants, the most beneficial aspect of the workshop was the opportunity for sharing ideas and developiing new collaborations among Geoscience educators and instructional design experts. At the meeting, participants formed several new collaborations to create high-quality on-line geoscience teaching and learning resources.
Several overarching design principles emerged from the workshop's discussion and activities, summarized here:
- Good planning is essential at all stages of resource development, and soliciting feedback at all stages allows the designer the opportunity to reconsider planning strategies.
- Designing good web resources follows the same principles we use for design of any course, lecture, laboratory, or activity: designing for a specific educational level level, with well-defined pedagogic goals for content and for skill development.
- On-line educational resources provide a unique opportunity for interactive assessment. One promising design strategy is to embed quizzes, questions, and activities that students must complete before they move on to more difficult content, or to higher-order thinking skills.
- Small, focused modules are most easily shared and used by faculty and students at other institutions, and thus provide an important contribution to the entire geoscience community. In web site design, this specifically means keeping pages that are focused on student learning separate from pages focused on course logistics (e.g., class times, meeting places, office hours, and other institution-specific information).
- Making effective web resources is inherently interdisciplinary, requiring a wide variety of expertise. We should be looking for partnerships and team with learning theorists, graphic design artists, communications specialists, etc.
- Early stages of design should include thorough searches for pre-existing web resources that could be modified or used as links.