Initial Publication Date: October 6, 2014

On the Cutting Edge Evaluation

The evaluation plan addresses two major effort domains of the project: the workshops and the website. All evaluations provide information to enable project staff to answer the following questions:"What are the results we are trying to achieve?" "Given these, who do we have to reach?" "What programs do we have with which to reach them?" "What evidence do we have that we did what we planned?"

The intent of the evaluation is both formative and summative. From a formative perspective, we look to improve our overall program including the workshops, website collections, and leadership program.The current objectives of the summative evaluation plan are to assess the impact of the workshops and website on faculty teaching and student learning. A second aim is to evaluate how the program contributes to the research base on effective faculty development.

The evaluation plan uses a theory of change to examine and identify the strongest and most compelling evidence for the program impacts.

Jump to: Evaluation Reports

National Geoscience Faculty Survey

Publications and Presentations Related to Evaluation

This list includes publications related to the evaluation of the program.

Under Review

  • Quardokus Fisher, K.. Under review. Characteristics and boundaries of the geoscience Education Community of practice. Journal for STEM Education Research.


  • Beane, R., Altermatt, E.R., Iverson, E.R., & Macdonald, R.H. (2020). Design and impact of the National Workshop for Early Career Geoscience Faculty. Journal of Geoscience Education.
  • Gamage, K., McFadden, R. R., Macdonald, R. H. (2020). Development of Students' Skills in Introductory Geoscience Courses: A Comparison of Self-reported Teaching Practices at Two-Year and Four-Year Institutions. Journal of Geoscience Education,
  • Viskupic, K., Egger, A. E., McFadden, R. R., Schmitz, M. D. (2020). Comparing desired workforce skills and reported teaching practices to model students' experiences in undergraduate geoscience programs. Journal of Geoscience Education,


  • Beane, R., McNeal, K. S., & Macdonald, R. H. (2019). Probing the National Geoscience Faculty Survey for reported use of practices that support inclusive learning environments in undergraduate courses. Journal of Geoscience Education, 67(4), 427-445. (Full article - open access)
  • Egger, A. E. (2019). The Role of Introductory Geoscience Courses in Preparing Teachers"And All Students"For the Future: Are We Making the Grade?. GSA Today. (Abstract)
  • Egger, A.E., Viskupic, K., and Iverson, E.R. (2019).Results of the National Geoscience Faculty Survey (2004-2016). (Acrobat (PDF) 5MB Dec4 19). National Association of Geoscience Teachers, Northfield, MN. 82 p.. Retrieved from
  • Lally, D., Forbes, C. T., McNeal, K. S., & Soltis, N. A. (2019). National Geoscience Faculty Survey 2016: Prevalence of systems thinking and scientific modeling learning opportunities. Journal of Geoscience Education, 67(2), 174-191.
  • McFadden, R. R., Viskupic, K., Egger, A. E. (2019). Faculty self-reported use of data analysis and quantitative skills in undergraduate geoscience courses. Journal of Geoscience Education.
  • Riihimaki, C. A., & Viskupic, K. (2019). Motivators and inhibitors to change: Why and how geoscience faculty modify their course content and teaching methods. Journal of Geoscience Education, 1-18.
  • Soltis, N. A., McNeal, K. S., Forbes, C. T., & Lally, D. (2019). The relationship between active learning, course innovation and teaching Earth system thinking: A structural equation modeling approach. Geosphere.
  • Viskupic, Karen and Ryker, Katherine and Teasdale, Rachel and Manduca, Cathryn and Iverson, Ellen and Farthing, Dori and Bruckner, Monica Z. and McFadden, Rory, (2019). Classroom Observations Indicate the Positive Impacts of Discipline-Based Professional Development. Journal for STEM Education Research, doi:10.1007/s41979-019-00015-


  • Manduca, C. A., Iverson, E. R., Luxenberg, M., Macdonald, R. H., McConnell, D. A., Mogk, D. W., & Tewksbury, B. J. (2017). Improving undergraduate STEM education: The efficacy of discipline-based professional development. Science Advances, 3(2). (Abstract)
  • Teasdale, R., Viskupic, K., Bartley, J. K., McConnell, D., Manduca, C., Bruckner, M., Farthing, D., Iverson, E. (2017). A multi-dimensional assessment of reformed teaching practice in geoscience classrooms. Geosphere, 13(2).


  • Iverson, Ellen. (2016). Understanding the Factors that Support the Use of Active Learning Teaching in STEM Undergraduate Courses: Case Studies in the Field of Geoscience. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, Abstract.
  • Iverson, E.R. (2016). How Geoscience Faculty Learn about Improving Their Teaching Practice: Lessons from Ten Years of Interviews. Earth Educators' Rendezvous, Madison, WI. (Abstract)


  • Iverson, E., Bruckner, M., Larsen, K., Manduca, C., (2015) "Replicating the effects ongoing treatment through sustained networks: the Impact of the On the Cutting Edge Professional Development Program for Geoscience Faculty (CE) on faculty learning about teaching," Earth Educators' Rendezvous, Boulder, CO (Abstract)



  • Bruckner, M.Z., Iverson, E., Manduca, C.McConnell, D., Bartley, J., Farthing, D., Teasdale, R., Viskupic, K. (2013). Using the on the Cutting Edge RTOP instrument to characterize how geoscience is taught. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 45, No. 7, p.313 abstract)


  • Bruckner, Monica Z., Rachel J. Beane, and Heather Macdonald (2011), On the Cutting Edge Webinar Series Supports Graduate Students and Post-Docs Pursuing an Academic Career (Acrobat (PDF) 1.8MB Dec18 11), Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 255 (Abstract)
  • Fox, Sean, Ellen A. Iverson, Cathryn A. Manduca, Karin B. Kirk, John R. McDaris, Carol J. Ormand, Monica Z. Bruckner (2011), Supporting Faculty Learning About Teaching: The On the Cutting Edge Website, Abstract ED23A-0612 Poster presented at 2011 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 5-9 Dec. (Abstract)
  • McConnell, David, Iverson, Ellen, Budd, David, Henry, Darrell, Kraft, Katrien J. van der Hoeven, McDaris, John R., MacDonald, Heather, Manduca, Cathryn, Srogi, LeeAnn, and Viskupic, Karen (2011). A Preliminary Snapshot of Geoscience Teaching at US Colleges and Universities. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 136. (Abstract)
  • Teasdale, Rachel, David Budd, Cinzia Cervato, Ellen Iverson, Katrien J. van der Hoeven Kraft, Cathryn Manduca, David A. McConnell, John R. McDaris, Daniel P. Murray, and William Slattery (2011). Enhancing Student-Centered Teaching Practices: Approaches Developed On the New Cutting Edge Geosciences RTOP Website, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 255. (Abstract)



  • Iverson, E.R., McLaughlin, J.A., Manduca, C.A. (2006) The Logic Model as Compass: Guiding Stakeholders Through the Consequences of Evaluation. Presented at American Evaluation Association 2006 Annual Conference.presentation (PowerPoint 1.5MB Nov29 06)
  • Manduca, C.A., H. Macdonald, D. Mogk, and B. Tewksbury (2006). On the Cutting Edge: Evolving Themes, Enduring Impact (Acrobat (PDF) 335kB Apr25 06). Northfield, MN: Science Education Resource Center.



Evaluation Reports

Overarching summary evaluation

The following comprehensive reports evaluate all components of the Cutting Edge project over long periods of time and utilize a variety of evaluation techniques (surveys, interviews, other analysis).

Interview studies

The following reports present findings of interview studies related to either the Cutting Edge workshop program or website.

Survey studies

The following reports present findings of surveys related to the Cutting Edge workshop program or website.