MARGINS Data in the Classroom > Call for Mini-Lesson Author Teams

Call for Mini-Lesson Author Teams

The application deadline passed January 5, 2013

We are seeking members of the MARGINS and GeoPRISMS community, and scientists interested in continental margins science in general, to contribute their expertise to the development and testing of new mini-lessons that synthesize the research outcomes of the decade of NSF MARGINS research. Specifically, we seek scientists and curriculum experts who will collaborate to produce high-quality science curricula informed by current educational research and practices. Newly developed mini-lessons will be placed in multiple course frameworks to allow widespread utilization. Participants will earn a nominal stipend for their contributions.

The products will consist of organized resources for upper level undergraduate courses that have undergone a rigorous testing and assessment process, as well as broad distribution and publication in geoscience and education journals and meeting presentations. This multi-institutional effort to disseminate interdisciplinary MARGINS science results will offer scientists a powerful means for increasing the impact of you research, while creating a portable curricular resource to educate and engage geoscience students across a range of courses and institutional types. By disseminating the highlights of MARGINS science through high-impact teaching resources, we will help transform the education of a broad and diverse audience of undergraduate geoscience students.

Mini-lessons are modular learning materials that repurpose the data resources, visualizations, and other information sources developed through MARGINS, GeoPRISMS and related research for use in examining fundamental earth processes in undergraduate classrooms from a multidisciplinary perspective. Mini-lessons are based on best practices in geoscience pedagogy and in the construction of digital educational products. See the original collection of mini-lessons.


Participants will be identified from the pool of applicants, organized into four teams of four, and assigned to one of the 4 MARGINS initiatives (Rupturing Continental Lithosphere, Subduction Factory, Seismogenic Zone Experiement, and Source to Sink). Each team will consist of a science team lead, a curriculum specialist, and 2 additional team members. The same group of participants will be asked to attend all of the events described below to ensure project continuity and completion.

We encourage interested candidates to apply to join a mini-lesson author team. The deadline to apply is January 5, 2013. Applicants will need to agree that they will be available to participate in webinars, virtual workshops and face to face workshops and are committed to the full two year development/testing process, as is described below.


Description of the Mini-Lesson Development Process


The project will be carried out in five phases.

1. Spring Webinars 2013

To kick off the project, participants will be selected and assigned to a team. Science Team Leads Rebecca Dorsey, Casey Moore, Robert Stern, and Steven Kuehl will prepare presentations on the scientific highlights of their MARGINS theme. Curriculum Team Leads will summarize existing MARGINS mini-lessons and other related educational resources. The purpose of the webinars is to communicate the scientific highlights of the four MARGINS initiatives and the history of efforts to disseminate curricular resources, and should lead to a discussion among team members about the science that should be incorporated into new mini-lessons.

As a follow up to the webinars, the Science and Curriculum Team Leads will interact with their team via email and conference calls, and will recommend additional readings or prepare additional webinars, if necessary. The team will compile a list of topics for mini-lessons.


2. Virtual Workshop, March or April 2013

This online workshop will focus on planning the development of new mini-lessons. This virtual workshop will bring together all participants and build upon the webinar series. The first part will consist of presentations of science summaries and a review of existing upper level undergraduate curriculum and existing geoscience curriculum resources, including existing MARGINS mini-lessons. Teams will present their plans for mini-lessons, based upon discussions prior to the workshop.

The second part of this workshop will consist of breaking out into teams (4 teams of 4). Each team will consist of a Science Team Lead, a Curriculum Team Lead and 2 additional members of the scientific or educational communities. Team discussion will focus on the scientific results for each theme, how well they are reflected in current mini-lessons or other educational modules (such as Teach the Earth http://serc.carleton.edu/teachearth/index.html) and identifying gaps, based on the syntheses presented in the webinars. Each team will then make a plan for developing synthesis documents to tie together any existing MARGINS mini-lessons that address their theme and developing additional mini-lessons to fill gaps. Each team will produce at least 2 new mini-lessons representing their theme; the actual number will depend upon the length and detail of each mini-lesson. We will encourage teams to produce complete and detailed mini-lessons, including broad scientific background and context. Each mini-lesson will take approximately 1 week of class time.


3. Mini-Lesson Writing

The mini-lesson writing will take place after the virtual workshop. By the end of the workshop, each team should have a detailed outline of the 2 mini-lessons they will write. The result will be 8 new mini-lessons that reflect cutting-edge MARGINS science and best educational practices for upper level undergraduate curricula. Curriculum specialists on each team will lead this effort, with frequent input from the Science Team Lead to review the science. The mini-lesson writing will take about 6 months and will be completed prior to Workshop #2. The Science Team Leads will provide context material that describes the broader context and significance of the science being presented.


4. Face to Face Workshop - September or October 2012 at Carleton College

This workshop will focus on reviewing the completed mini-lessons and designing the assessment.

The first goal of this workshop will be to to produce an assessment plan for the new mini-lessons. There will be opportunities to consult with other faculty and to work with the assessment consultant from SERC. The aim of the assessment will be to gauge student learning. We anticipate that the assessment will consist of surveys, student feedback, and faculty structured reflection based on the previous field-testing of MARGINS mini-lessons.

The second goal of this workshop is to begin to place the 8 new mini-lessons into course frameworks and produce coherent course segments. Teams will work on developing a particular course framework for the mini-lessons. The course framework is an outline for a course segment, including a series of mini-lessons in proper sequence.


5. Assessment

Assessment of the mini-lessons will include field testing and collection of data from other assessment instruments. Participants will each test the 2 mini-lessons developed by their team, as well as one additional lesson from another team. The opportunity to test their own lessons will give participants valuable insight into potential revisions, and each new mini-lesson will be tested by 6 different participants. Testing will take place in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014, as team members introduce them into existing courses. The institutions chosen for this task will be of differing types (e.g., community colleges, private liberal arts colleges, large primarily undergraduate state universities, and major research universities), from varying geographical settings, and with diverse student bodies. In addition, a diverse range of course and class sizes will be targeted, providing us with a broad sample for assessment.