Review Processes for Quantitative Skills Teaching Activities
The Teaching Quantitative Skills in the Geosciences project led the way in terms of developing criteria against which teaching activities could be reviewed for quality. But the review process employed evolved over the length of the project.
At the 2004 workshop, participants were asked to peruse activities submitted by others in their disciplinary group prior to the workshop. The groups then convened early in the workshop to discuss the materials and make suggestions for improvements. No rubrics or guidelines were provided to the participants to use in this review, but group discussions during the workshop helped to develop a set of criteria to use going forward.
At the 2005 workshop, participants were provided an initial set of criteria to use in review each others' activities.
Criteria for Reviewing Activity
- Is the activity well designed for teaching both quantitative skills and geoscience content?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the activity, in particular reflecting back on your teaching experience and the Key Elements?
- Is the science correct?
- Will the activity work?
- Is the activity clear and complete? Are there other materials that are needed or would be helpful?
- Could you quickly make a decision about whether you would like to look further at this activity?
- Are the supporting materials sufficient for you to use the activity effectively? What other supporting materials do you need? Waht other supporting materials would you like to see?
- Are the materials presented in the template clearly and completely?
After conducting the reviews and giving feedback to the authors, the criteria themselves were discussed and revised in order to make them more useful and effective. The group also drafted a list of things that are characteristic of well-designed activities.
At the 2006 workshop, participants used the review criteria and characteristics developed in 2005 to evaluate each others' activities, after which they made action plans for revising their activities.