Getting the Most out of Your Introductory Courses

March 10-12 and March 17-18, 2014
Virtual Workshop - in partnership with InTeGrate

This workshop has already taken place.

Introductory courses in the geosciences (geology, oceanography, atmospheric science, Earth system science) play a pivotal role in undergraduate education. They serve as recruiting grounds for majors and future professionals, provide critical experiences in geoscience for pre-service teachers, and may be the only course in geoscience that future policy makers, business people, professionals, and citizens ever take. We need to make the most of these courses, but how?

This workshop provided the opportunity for departments, individual faculty, and regional or state systems to reflect on their introductory courses and the ways that they can be designed to best serve their needs in their context. The workshop began by highlighting the variety of roles that the introductory course can play: for students, for programs, and for institutions. We then considered how these courses can most effectively meet multiple goals that departments have for students - for example, recruiting students into the major, developing geoscience literacy in the general education audience, and meeting the content needs of future teachers. At the same time, we considered how these same introductory courses help the institution meet its goals for students, from critical thinking skills to sustainability.

Participants included individual faculty, instructors, and department chairs as well as groups of faculty from departments. Please proceed to the Overview page for more information, or the Program page to see additional resources.

Workshop Conveners

  • Anne Egger, Geological Sciences and Science Education, Central Washington University
  • Cathy Manduca, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College

Additional workshop leaders

  • Laurie Duncan, Geological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin
  • Fred Marton, Physical Sciences, Bergen Community College
  • Rachel Teasdale, Geosciences, California State University at Chico

This workshop is part of the On the Cutting Edge professional development program for current and future geoscience faculty, and is sponsored by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers with funding provided by NAGT, and a grant from the National Science Foundation - Division of Undergraduate Education and other contributing sponsors.

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