Creating Teaching Materials and Examples of their Use
The first element of InTeGrate is to develop a new breed of teaching materials that can be utilized in general education courses, core courses within geoscience majors, courses designed for other majors including environmental studies, social science, engineering, and other sciences, and courses for interdisciplinary programs.
- address one or more geoscience related grand challenges facing society,
- develop student ability to address interdisciplinary problems,
- improve student understanding of the nature and methods of geoscience and developing geoscientific habits of mind,
- make use of authentic and credible geoscience data to learn central concepts in the context of geoscience methods of inquiry, and,
- incorporate systems thinking.
Materials Development Teams
All InTeGrate teaching materials are developed and tested by teams of faculty drawn from at least three institutions. By engaging these faculty who teach different kinds of students in different types of institutional settings in collaboratively developing materials we strive to create robust, flexible materials that can be used effectively in a wide variety of settings. This is key to creating materials that can be adopted easily by faculty who are not involved in the development.
Each team develops and tests materials during a two year interval. In most cases, we anticipate that teams will be created in the spring with an intensive development taking place during the summer. Testing occurs during the following academic year and is followed by revision and publication of the materials. Teams meet face-to-face near the beginning of the development work and again after the completion of testing. Team members commit to participating in the collaborative design and development of the materials, piloting and testing these materials at their home institution, and revising and refining the materials based on the results of testing. In addition, they are responsible for completing a comprehensive set of documentation that supports other faculty in using the materials, including a description of the use of the materials in their own classrooms.
To support effective integration of scientific data, teams may have other types of members beyond the core faculty from three different institutions.
InTeGrate is producing tested materials that are effective in reaching their stated learning goals as well as meeting the projects overarching goals. To support development teams in meeting this high standard, each team works with a consultant drawn from the InTeGrate Assessment team. All materials must meet the criteria defined by the InTeGrate Curriculum Development and Refinement Rubric (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 38kB Jun17 13) before testing begins. This rubric encodes both the overarching goals of the project and research-based principles for effective instruction. All materials must include embedded assessments that can be used to measure student progress toward the stated learning goals. The assessment consultant's role is to provide expertise to help the team meet these requirements. The assessment consultant also helps the team make sense of the classroom testing results that form the basis for revising the materials before publication on the InTeGrate website.
Types of Materials to be Developed
The InTeGrate materials development effort will engage over 150 faculty from across the nation inluding no fewer than 25 faculty from two year colleges and minority serving institutions, including historically black colleges and universities and tribal colleges and universities. To ensure broad participation from the full spectrum of institutions across the nation, 75 positions will be filled using an application process. The balance of positions will be filled by invitation. The professional development program plays an important role in identifying both needed materials and potential team members.
Introductory geoscience modules/courses
This effort, led by Dr. David McConnell at North Carolina State University, is developing a modular set of materials based on the literacy documents that are suitable for use in large face-to-face, blended, and distance introductory courses within geoscience departments. These modules can be organized in a variety of combinations to serve a range of introductory courses. Selection of introductory geoscience authors has occurred for the first and second years of the project. Check back in December for more information about the 2014 call for authors.
- Human's Dependence on Earth's Mineral Resources: Prajukti Bhattacharyya (University of Wisconsin- Whitewater), Joy Branlund (Southwestern Illinois College), Leah Joseph (Ursinus College)
The module "Human's dependence on Earth's mineral resources" allows important geoscience concepts (minerals, rocks, and rock-forming processes) to be taught in context of important and immediate societal issues. Students will confront human issues (ethics, justice, economics, health, quality of life, politics, etc.) that arise due to obtaining, refining, and using natural resources. The module will incorporate factors, including the location and depth of resource and mineral concentration, that place additional stresses on people and nature. Students will evaluate impacts of their own behavior and plan ways to modify personal behavior and make choices in light of the global and local social and environmental impacts from mineral resource use.
This team plans to pilot test their module in Spring 2013.
- Climate of Change: Interactions and Feedbacks Between Water, Air and Ice: Cynthia Fadem (Earlham College), Cindy Shellito (University of Northern Colorado), Becca Walker (Mt San Antonio College)
The primary aim of this module is to facilitate understanding of the dynamics and impacts associated with short-term climate variability resulting from atmosphere-ocean-ice interactions and feedbacks. The module will aim to promote awareness of cultures and regions strongly affected by permanently altered or increasingly uncertain climates. Data and models examining oscillations and fluctuations in the ocean and atmosphere will place climate variability in the context of student's experiences. Examination of ice sheet dynamics will help students understand the difference between climate variability and climate change by making tangible the effects of changing atmospheric chemistry on glacial mass, sea-level volume and coastal submergence. The module will also emphasize the role of society in climate change.
This team plans to pilot test their module in Fall 2012.
- Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes: Josh Galster (Montclair State University), Lisa Gilbert (Williams College), Joan Ramage (Lehigh University)
Hurricane hazards and risks exemplify the rich interplay between the ocean-atmosphere-land systems. The risks to society can be devastating and obvious with lives and property lost and infrastructure destroyed, and personally we identify with those harmed or may judge them for putting themselves at risk. This module will introduce students to hurricane processes, how they affect humans and the land, and how people can use historical data and current observations to assess personal and societal risk.
This team plans to pilot test their module in Spring2013.
- Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources: Adriana Perez (Dona Ana Community College), Jill Schneiderman (Vassar College), Joshua Villalobos (El Paso Community College), Meg Stewart (independent instruction technologist)
Environmental changes--particularly those that arise from perturbations in the hydrosphere and atmosphere--concern those 21st century students who see themselves not just as disconnected individuals but citizens of an interconnected global community. The environmental justice paradigm helps make geosciences come alive in our 'post Hurricane Katrina' world. Images produced following the devastating effects of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina helped to define visually environmental injustice as the flood waters were most catastrophic to communities in the poorest regions of southern Louisiana, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle. When situated geologically, examination of societal problems facilitates understanding of the natural science behind the issues. Such 'transdisciplinarity' is one key to sustainable living as human beings strive to address interactions throughout the Earth system and disparities in human potential, many of which are propelled by our own actions in this new Period (the Anthropocene) and also tied to economic class, race, and gender.
This module integrates the study of ground and surface water resources within the environmental justice framework. Through the use of geospatial analysis, either using Google Earth or GIS software, the module links geosciences to class, race and gender using readings, class exercises, homework assignments and lectures. The materials will interest students who might not otherwise take an earth science class for the materials engage contemporary environmental topics that are grounded in geosciences. One critical intended side consequence of this module is the development of enhanced spatial reasoning skills.
This team plans to practice test their module in Spring 2013.
- A Student Learning Module for Coastal Vulnerability: Jean Ellis (University of South Carolina), Wei Tu (Georgia Southern University), Lei Wang (Louisiana State University) - to be developed in 2013
- Sustainable Agriculture as a Context for Developing Earth Systems Thinking: Sarah Fortner (Wittenberg University), Martha Murphy (Santa Rosa Junior College), Hannah Scherer (Virginia Tech) - to be developed in 2013
- Living on the Edge: Building resilient societies on active plate margins: Laurel Goodell (Princeton), Peter Selkin (University of Washington-Tacoma), Rachel Teasdale (California State University, Chico) - to be developed in 2013
- Carbon, Climate, and Energy Resources: Callan Bentley (Northern Virginia Community College), Peter Berquist (Thomas Nelson Community College), Pamela Gore (Georgia Perimeter College) - to be developed in 2013
Teacher preparation modules/courses
Dr. Anne Egger at Central Washington University is leading an effort to develop a set of modules aimed at courses for pre-service teachers including both content courses (usually taught in science departments) and methods courses. The first and second sets of teacher preparation authors have been selected. Please check back in December for the 2014 call for authors.
- Energy Sources and Earth Processes: Sue DeBari (Western Washington University), Kyle Gray (University of Northern Iowa), Julie Monet (California State University, Chico)
This module is focused on surface processes driven by Earth's external energy source – the Sun, with explicit linkages to processes driven by Earth's internal energy (understanding of introductory plate tectonics is pre-requisite knowledge). Students will investigate the externally driven processes that shape Earth's surface, such as the hydrologic cycle and its links to the rock cycle. Students will examine the relationship of these external processes to societal issues such as floods, and the availability of natural resources such as drinking water. Students will explicitly describe how internally driven and externally driven processes influence each other. The module will also incorporate key foundational concepts such as the nature of geoscience inquiry, the nature of science and how to understand and interpret online geoscience data sets. While aimed at content courses for pre-service teachers, we expect that activities within this module could also be adapted to other undergraduate geoscience courses.
This team plans to pilot test their module in the academic year 2012-2013.
- Teaching Geoscience Methods to Secondary Education Students: James Ebert (SUNY Oneonta), Scott Linneman (Western Washington University), Jeff Thomas (Central Connecticut State University)
This one week (6 hr classtime) module begins with a seminar style activity (writing/discussion/reading/discussion/writing) of how geoscience methods are similar and different than the stereotypical experimental scientific method. The second activity models how particular methods of geoscience (developing spatial frameworks) can be demonstrated and practiced using a data-rich, interdisciplinary activity using GoogleEarth. In the third activity, students search the SERC collections to find appropriate activities to model different aspects of geoscience methods and develop a lesson plan using these resources.
This team plans to pilot test their module in Spring 2013 .
- Using Modeling in the Earth Sciences: Bob MacKay (Clark College), Julie Maxson (Metropolitan State), Basil Tikoff (University of Wisconsin, Madison) - to be developed in 2013
- Deposition in the Gaps - An Elementary Pre-service Teacher Preparation Soils Module: Kathryn Baldwin (Washington State University- Pullman), Jennifer Dechaine (Central Washington University), Rodger Hauge (Eastern Washington University), Gary Varrella (Washington State University - Extension) - to be developed in 2013
Interdisciplinary general education courses and courses for majors
Dr. David Gosselin at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, is leading the development of a set of courses that are aimed at integrating geoscience concepts into teaching about societal issues outside of geoscience programs and integrating linkages to societal issues into upper division geoscience courses.
- Introduction to Critical Zone science: Martha Conklin (University of California, Merced), Susan Gill (Stroud Water Research Center), Bill McDowell (University of New Hampshire), James Washburne (Pima Community College and University of Arizona), Timothy White (Pennsylvania State University) - to be developed in 2013
- Engaging Students in Grand Challenges in an Interdisciplinary Water Sustainability Course: Nicole Davi (Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory), Terri Plake (Northwest Indian College), Christopher Sinton (Ithaca College), Robert Turner (University of Washington Bothell) - to be developed in 2013
- Map your Hazards! – Combining Natural Hazards with Societal Issues: Brittany Brand (Boise State University), Pamela McMullin-Messier (Central Washington University), Melissa Schlegel (College of Western Idaho) - to be developed in 2013
- Gateway to Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability (GREENS): Randy Chambers (The College of William and Mary), Maurice Crawford (Elizabeth City State University), Benjamin Cuker (Hampton University) - to be developed in 2013
Interdisciplinary distance learning courses
Dr. Tm Bralower at Pennsylvania State University, is leading development of a suite of on-line courses emphasizing the grand challenges of climate change, energy, sea level rise, water supply and natural hazards. These courses will incorporate a focus on the use of predictive models to forecast changes and the impact of mitigation efforts. Taken together, these courses will support a Certificate of Excellence in Earth Science.
- Energy and the Earth: Richard Alley (Penn State University), Seth Blumsack (Penn State University), Klaus Keller (Penn State University) - to be developed in 2013 and piloted in Spring 2014
- Coastlines: Sean Cornell (Shippensburg University), Duncan Fitzgerald (Boston University), Mark Kulp (University of New Orleans), Dinah Maygarden (University of New Orleans), Ioannis Georgiou (University of New Orleans), Brent Yarnal (Penn State University) - to be developed in 2013 and piloted in Fall 2014
- Water Science and Society: Mike Arthur (Penn State University), Ioannis Georgiou (University of New Orleans), Demian Saffer (Penn State University), Krystyna Stave (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) - to be developed in 2013 and piloted in Spring 2014
- Earth Modelling: Eric Baer (Highline Community College), Dave Bice (Penn State University), Kirsten Menking (Vassar College) - to be developed in 2013
- Food Supply: Karl Zimmerer (Penn State University) - to be developed in 2013-2014 and piloted in Spring 2015
This effort will develop materials bringing geoscience literacy and skills to students in other majors including other STEM majors, social sciences, humanities, and professional programs such as business and pre-law. Materials development targets are being explored through a series of workshops designed to attract faculty from other natural and social sciences, humanities, and professional programs to identify opportunities to strengthen the geoscience component in their programs.
- A workshop on Engineering, Sustainability, and the Geosciences explored the integration of geoscience into the engineering curriculum. This workshop was held in January, 2013 in Golden, CO.
- A workshop on Teaching Environmental Justice: Interdisciplinary Approaches identified strategies for integrating geoscience into humanities and social science courses; these areas are of high interest to students from groups underrepresented in the sciences. This workshop was held in April, 2013 at Carleton College.
- A workshop on Geoscience and the 21st Century Workforce: Considering undergraduate programs in the context of changing employment opportunities will be held in June, 2013 at Pennsylvania State University.
We anticipate three interdisciplinary teams will develop and test materials or courses based on the recommendations from each these workshops. See the call for authors if you are interested in applying.Learn More about Past and Current Workshop Programming
Format of Teaching Materials
- detailed learning goals and information about the teaching context for which the course/module is appropriate; where it fits in the curriculum.
- a detailed narrative of the overall course/module with specific activities fleshed out in SERC activitysheet format.
- guidance on assessing student learning of the material, including access to the full assessment tools used by the original developers.
- reflections from the original authors about how the materials played out in their classrooms.
The student materials will take several forms:
- Handouts, datasets and other downloadable materials will be provided within the activitysheets. Instructors are free to adapt these for their local circumstances; providing them to their students in print or electronically. e.g. via their local Learning Management System (LMS).
- Background readings and other original supporting materials will be available as web pages directly on the InTeGrate website. Faculty can point their students to separate student-focused versions of the these materials, or download them for display in a local website or LMS. InTeGrate will provide stable versions of each revisions of these materials as well as downloadable versions as html5 and in common cartridge format.
InTeGrate materials are available at no cost under a creative commons license that encourages wide reuse and empowers educators to flexibly adapt the materials to meet their local needs. Copyright of original materials developed by InTeGrate is retained by the project.