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Finding Open Educational Resources for Teaching
Originally compiled by Gretchen Miller, Wake Technical Community College, and Carol Ormand, SERC, for the 2020 workshop for Early Career Faculty in the Geosciences, with additional resources suggested by Ben Laabs, North Dakota State University
OER textbooks and courseware
- LibreTexts has a collection of OER geoscience courses and textbooks
- MIT Open Courseware: search the educator portal for teaching materials on Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, including online textbooks
- Coursera has course materials -- and online certificate programs -- on Environmental Science and Sustainability
- Salt Lake Community College's Introduction to Geology free online textbook
- Lab manual for Introduction to Physical Geography from multiple institutions in British Columbia
Effective online teaching
Many faculty across the US (and the world) made a rapid transition to online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. SERC put together a set of web resources to support geoscience faculty making that transition:
- Teaching Geoscience Online
- Quick Transition to Online Teaching
- Search for Online Geoscience Teaching Activities and Courses
For introductory geoscience courses
- GeoScience Videos is a collection of short instructional videos for introductory geology courses, developed using effective multimedia design principles
- Teaching Introductory Geoscience Courses
Developing students' sense of belonging in STEM
- Developing students' science identity, from the SAGE 2YC project, has information and links to resources to help your students see that they are part of a community, such as
On teaching a concept or skill across multiple courses
- The Math You Need, When You Need It is a set of math tutorials for students in introductory geoscience courses.
- The InTeGrate project is all about teaching about sustainability across the curriculum, and includes information on how to teach sustainability as well as modules and courses that you can adopt or adapt for your classroom.
- The Spatial Thinking Workbook is a collection of teaching activities designed to strengthen geoscience students' penetrative thinking skills: the ability to visualize spatial relations inside an object.
- The GETSI project (GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues) engages students in exploring geodetic data and developing quantitative skills in relation to societally important issues (climate change, natural hazards, water resources, environmental management).
Of special interest for early career faculty
- The early career geoscience faculty website has a set of pages about efficient, effective teaching: how to teach well, without it taking over your life
- Designing Effective and Innovative Courses
- The On the Cutting Edge project, of which this workshop is a part, has modules on a wide range of geoscience courses and topics
On teaching methods
- Expanding Your Teaching Toolkit is a page of resources to make your courses more interactive. If you're not sure where to begin, in terms of incorporating active learning pedagogies into your teaching, start here.
- Pedagogy in Action aims to help faculty put into practice in the classroom what we've learned from research on learning. It includes detailed descriptions of the what, why and how of various teaching methods and has a collection of examples of teaching activities using each method. If you're ready to dive in, these pages are for you.
On teaching in particular situations
Resources from Participants in this Session in 2020
- PBS shorts on earth science topics
- LinkedIn Learning
- EDDIE modules
- Ezsnips ( This site may be offline. )
- Global Weirding Series (Katherine Hayhoe)
- Google Spreadsheet with more ideas
Strategies for searching SERC's collections
Finding OERs -- Discussion
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From the website: "These “Lecture Tutorials” are designed as illustrative review of individual lectures, followed with a series of questions aimed at addressing student misconceptions. The general idea is that you lecture for 15-20 minutes, the students work through the lecture tutorials for 15-20 minutes, then the class discusses the answers together. These offer a consistent active learning formative assessment, and also act as study guides for students." There are 36 tutorials available now, with a few more in the works.
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