Initial Publication Date: October 17, 2014

Overall philosophy of Cutting Edge workshop design

Research on learning shows how important active engagement is to learning. Effective workshops actively engage participants and provide opportunities both for participants to learn from one another and to make progress on applying what they have learned in the workshop to their own teaching situations.

Cutting Edge workshops are designed to support a shared enterprise among conveners and participants, rather than an opportunity for workshop participants to listen to a series of experts. The conveners facilitate the workshop, rather than teach the workshop. Each workshop strives to include diverse workshop presenters and participants; multiple viewpoints and approaches are crucial for advancing the collective understanding of effective geoscience education. Workshops are enriched by having participants from a variety of kinds of colleges and universities and from a variety of disciplines within the geosciences.

Signature strategies of Cutting Edge workshops include:

  • Workshops model effective pedagogy based on research on learning
  • Participants always leave with something they can use immediately
  • Individual planning for implementation is an important workshop outcome for participants
  • Participants contribute valuable experience and ideas to the workshop and help build web collection
  • Networking and community-building is a specific component of workshops
Learn more about how this design philosophy emerged in the original NSF-funded On the Cutting Edge program