GARNET > How to Participate

Why Should I Participate In GARNET?

Beyond contributing data as part of an important study of the role of student affect on learning in introductory geoscience courses, you will also receive detailed information about students and your course. This would include: the pre- and post-instruction attitudes, motivations, values, and cognitive strategies of students in your course, their pre- and post-instruction understanding of earth science concepts, a characterization of the learning environment, and data that will allow you to compare your class with others in the project.

What Will I Do As A Participating Instructor?

As an instructor participating in the GARNET Project, you will do little more than teach your introductory geology course. Beyond that, participants will:

  1. Submit application to and get approval from your Institutional Review Board to participate in GARNET. We have examples we are happy to share with new participants.
  2. Include a homework assignment or some form of class credit that asks students to complete the MSLQ. This generally ensures sufficient participation to produce statistically meaningful results over just offering it as extra credit.
  3. Administer a modified version of the Geoscience Concept Inventory (GCI; Libarkin and Anderson, 2005) in which students indicate their pre- and post-instruction understanding of earth science concepts.
  4. Administer the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ; Pintrich et al., 1991), which asks students to respond to a number of items about their attitudes, motivations, values, and cognitive strategies. Both surveys can be conducted on-line so need not take away from class time. Administration of the IRB Consent is typically administered online during the pre-semester MSLQ survey.
  5. Sometime during the semester a trained observer may visit your classroom (for two different visits) to characterize the learning environment using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP; Sawada et al., 2002).
  6. At the end of the course you would report course grades, grade-point averages, and GCI, SAT scores to our data analyst; all data will be coded with student names removed so participants cannot be identified.
  7. Classroom research of this nature requires consent by your students and approval by your institutional review board (IRB). The project provides a number of resources to help you implement the surveys and submit an IRB request.
  8. After a baseline for your class has been established (one year of doing what you already do), we ask that you will change one thing (we have options of interventions to try out if you need ideas) that will specifically target one sub-scale on the MSLQ.


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