Workshop Program

This workshop has already taken place. You may download the PowerPoint files, watch the screencasts or read the chat sessions from the workshop.

Tuesday June 22 - 3:00 - 4:00 Central Time (Optional) Elluminate Rehearsal

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

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8:00 Pacific | 9:00 Mountain | 10:00 Central | 11:00 Eastern: Opening session (1.5 hours)

Threaded discussion: What is the role of online education at your institution, in your department, and for you personally?

Watch the Screencast (Quicktime Video 487MB Jun23 10)

Moderated Chat Comments from the AM session

In what type of course do you teach, or plan to teach online?

  • intro physical/historical course
  • environmental science (introductory)
  • undergrad, intro environmental science
  • intro - plate tectonics, GPS, geodesy
  • Intro Environmental Geology and a Natural Hazards class
  • Undergraduate - Intro Oceanography
  • Undergraduate Course
  • intro env. geology/intro phys geology
  • Evolution/Creation Debate
  • Intro Geology
  • intro geology but for a master's program
  • Intro level: oceanography, environmental, and physical
  • Master's level. general and geophysics
  • introductory meteorology, graduate air quality
  • Introductory Geology
  • environmental geology, geology of the national parks, California geology

Teach courses for future teachers? Methods or content?

  • I teach teachers but content. mostly mid-career teachers
  • my graduate course is for an online masters of geoscience ed
  • I have taught content to teachers online
  • No, but I teach teachers in my classes

The aspects of teaching online that I find the most beneficial, interesting and exciting are...

  • discussions
  • a new way of teaching
  • how to improve interaction
  • the variety of people who take the course (some out of state, etc)
  • pairing online with face to face, adding resources to assist students.
  • diversity in students
  • I'd like to be able to reach more non-traditional students who are juggling jobs while taking classes
  • flexibility for me. Asynchronous discussions engage students more than synchronous ones! surprise for me.
  • Reaching more diverse students.
  • Reaching students in hybrid course who cannot make class
  • most beneficial: the ability to reach students who might not otherwise have access to higher ed
  • Flexibility, efficiency, reduce carbon footprint
  • some very dedicated students
  • diverse views of students all over the world and with different life experiences
  • Reaching a larger audience with more time options

The aspects of teaching online that I find the most worrisome, confusing, and confounding are...

  • not all my colleagues value online teaching
  • some of my students never get engaged
  • the students who take it because it will be easy and then put everything off until just before it's due
  • more pre-planning
  • how to handle the lab end of things -- for instance how to handle minerals and rocks.
  • Content harder to develop
  • Off line students report less engagement
  • Students need to understand the time commitment
  • finding ways to challenge and engage students in an on-line environment
  • how to teach without rock/mineral specimens, or lab materials that are expensive
  • trying to do geology labs
  • not recognizing when students are confused, or need to be called on non-participation
  • I agree it takes a ton of time to make the content good
  • Getting the student's motivated and excited about the science
  • communicating some of the subtle aspects of the course that are "easy" in face-to-face
  • Preparation, Scheduling and testing
  • I hate typesetting math symbols, so grading problem sets can be annoying

Some things that would help me with the confounding part of teaching online are...

  • Learn about more activities that actively involve students in the course
  • How to use discussions in an intro course
  • sharing activities that works
  • group work
  • this experience...I've never taken an online course, so I don't really get what makes the class work all the time
  • get more of my colleagues to do it
  • How to incorporate discussions and group work
  • activities that facilitate critical thinking
  • Developing a community of other teachers so that I can ask, "hey what do you do when...."
  • Better student preparation and help with grading writing assignments
  • How best to deliver content that's not just making the students read slides online -- making it interactive.
  • better understanding of how to facilitate "meaningful" discussions
  • I'm just delving into online activities and am amazed at what is out there already!
  • See other courses and how it's done on other schools
  • Providing feedback and emotional support
  • showing their work and discussions

Comments from Margaret Brooks presentation:

  • Who makes the call on whether a course will be on-line vs. hybrid vs. traditional? Who pays for technology?
  • Individual faculty make the call on our campus
  • At my campus, to be an online class you must work with an instructional designer and your course can only be offered online once they sign off and approve. hybrid courses are designated as any course that uses Blackboard.
  • At our campus departments must enter into an agreement with the World Campus to deliver a course online

What kinds of out-of-the-classroom activities are done at your school?

  • Field trips, of course, and an on-campus geol field station
  • field courses, internships
  • field trips, service learning, field camp
  • field trips - local, regional and once a year a distant trip
  • service learning projects
  • students can get college credit for work experience
  • field trips, research experiences
  • Tornado chasing!
  • field trips
  • I have my env sci students help with recycling every week during the semester
  • field trips, international opportunities
  • Field trips to outcrops
  • Time at sea
  • internships are required of all majors in our department (and some other across campus). I do extensive field trips, field conferences, and service learning
  • field trips, internships with local resource agencies

Accessibility Considerations on campuses

  • I always have babies born to my students, 1-2 each semester
  • I had a student in and out of the Mayo Clinic... he was my best student that semester.
  • i had my own babies while teaching online...
  • I had a student getting shelled in Kandahar -- he was great
  • I have an student in Saudi Arabia, right now
  • I took care of my twin boys as infants while online. I have students in India, China, and New York right now. I had a single student who was traveling between Japan, India, North America and Oxford in a semester

Academic honesty considerations:

  • cut and paste drives me crazy!
  • I have strategies to address this, especially on quizzes and exams
  • I don't like it either
  • I wrote an on-line tutorial about plagiarism, and how to write from on-line sources. Remind me to post the link
  • Don, I would love to know your strategies. I can tell when they have cut and pasted, but I cannot seem to get them to stop.
  • Keep students on a common schedule - one week increments
  • I have due dates for assignments & exams. I have most of the class open, but specific assignments/exams are only open for a short period of time.
  • There is some information on Issues for Distance Learning in the part of Cutting Edge under Developing Effective Web-Based Learning Resources in the Geosciences.

Photo documentation idea:

  • I like this idea -- you can do it in Geology too
  • I have my face to face students bring in pictures...I never thought to have my online students do it too!
  • me too! Love it, see myself doing this with erosion in my env. geology class.
  • Photo documentation ideas might be a great page for a group to work on --I too am thinking about how to do this.
  • I will have the opportunity to teach intro geology in the spring for students on international campuses. This would be a great addition for the students to share what they are seeing in different countries!
  • I had students prepare a website of our field trip for those who couldn't go. The web site wasn't 100% successful! gotta work on it
  • This idea could make a great capstone project for them to photograph something geological then investigate it in reference to rock types, geological processes, etc

Course Caps

  • Once you went online, how do you handle or limit course caps? We have very small class sizes and are being "pressured" to go online to add additional students.
  • Our caps work exactly like a regular course. There is a hard limit, but faculty can accept overloads for a bit of extra pay.
  • Well, since mine is a hybrid (the 2 Sat sessions), I have to limit by the number of chairs in my lab (which is currently 24).
  • Are online courses part of the same curriculum/college? Online classes at my institution are moving from a "distance education" program to allowing students to cross enroll in both online and live courses.
  • Wow--I have 300, per section. Big school
  • Caps on online classes are same as classroom sections

12:00 Pacific | 1:00 Mountain | 2:00 Central | 3:00 Eastern: Innovative Projects in Online Teaching (1.5 hours)

A panel of examples of innovative online projects, drawn from workshop participants. 10 minutes of presentation, followed by whole group discussion
12:00 - 12:30 Virtual Voyages: Ocean Science in an Online Environment (PowerPoint 2.7MB Jun23 10) - Donald Reed, San Jose State University
12:30 - 1:00 Is the New Madrid Seismic Zone at risk for a large earthquake? - An online lesson in a master's level Earth science course - Eliza Richardson, Penn State
This presentation was conducted as a web tour. Watch the afternoon screencast to follow along.
link to my presentation:
See a complete description of this activity, Is the New Madrid Seismic Zone at risk for a large earthquake?

1:30 - 2:00 Using Case Studies in Online Classes: A Coastal Erosion Example (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 842kB Jun23 10) - Eleanour Snow, University of South Florida
Watch the Screencast (Quicktime Video 640.6MB Jun23 10)
Moderated Chat Comments from the PM session

Comments for Reed Presentation

  • Wow - I love this website! Including the video adds such a personal touch!
  • I agree!
  • did you do all the audio/video yourself? - YES
  • How many years did it take to build this resource to what it is today?
  • What kind of feedback do you get from your students? Do they like the videos and the voyages?
  • do you have students without good broadband? Probably less of a problem nowadays I imagine
  • Do you provide examples of written work, for example, to give them a sense of what you want their work to look like?
  • How often do you see them face-to-face?
  • Don - have other instructors used your website for their classes? How have they handled the need to modify the instructions about what exactly is going to happen next?
  • How do the students receive feedback? Do you just comment in the d2L page or do you print and return written comments?
  • What is d2L?
    • desire to learn, another online learning system
  • How do you host the video?
  • Yes, it is so easy to mistake tone in an email
  • it's really nice that you can keep your content separate from the course management software
  • I was just thinking the same thing!

Comments for Richardson presentation

  • could you mention what the tool is for your 'slides'?
  • All course platforms have issues -- WebCT, Blackboard, D2L and Angel
  • Is anyone using Moodle?
  • Blatant plug — LectureTools (tomorrow's talk, designed for GeoSciences) works with Blackboard, Angel, D2L, Sakai, Moodle,...
  • I really enjoyed the Jing presentations in your activity.
  • Does lecture tools do this sort of thing?
  • Also, SnapZPro in OSX to capture screen
  • Yes, keep them short -- good advice
  • can there be a discussion thread that lists all of these cool online tools?
  • Elluminate is pretty cool. LectureTools facilitates interactive classes (advanced student response, assessment, and more).
  • how do they do that when they only have one year of data?
  • Yes, basic plotting and analysis is valuable in all classes
  • I agree that students get caught up in the process and don't interpret what the plot means
  • do your students resist the math?
  • YES!!!
  • By and large, yes, but majors seem at ease with Excel these days
  • majors yes, but non-majors will panic
  • yes, non-science students panic with excel!
  • Love the press release idea.
  • Does this discussion happen on-line or in person?
  • I have my envr sci course do an excel exercise on calculating population growth by 2050. I have a complete step by step procedure that even tells them what to type in each cell to do this, and some still get lost.
  • I have students do an excel exercise plotting temperature data, then computing running averages. They don't get it!
  • Yes, following instructions is difficult for some students
  • This is a terrific exercise!
  • Do you have problems with students interpreting the plots they draw?
  • Beer! I wonder if they'd type faster or slower after...
  • Yes, threaded discussions can be hit and miss, and the "chemistry" of the class. -- one semester will have great discussions, then the same discussions will
  • That's helpful to me because I have been teaching such large classes that I had given up on discussion, but I am teaching a smaller class now, so I will try again
  • what about using google spreadsheet to create a sample plot?
  • I've been party to a class that was giant (60) and it was divided into 4 discussion "sections". That meant a lot of management on my part.
  • Divide class into groups of 12, with 6 assigned roles to play, so there is duplication
  • Nice work!
  • Here is some help with excel -- not sure this would speak to someone who isn't already motivated to learn Excel -
  • Online students do better than my traditional students because they actually read the material
  • one of the things preventing me from doing it is the daunting amount of setup
  • One slow student can mess up everyone else's timing.
  • My proposed fishing moratorium townhall meeting is based on a case study
  • I have not used case studies online, but they usually don't work for me because students are not prepared to discuss...
  • Nice exercise, I like it!
  • yup, very well done

Comments for Snow presentation

  • this looks really cool
  • Do you allow various sea level change scenarios? Compare & contrast?
  • I was just thinking that - could add a current-events twist
  • could a savvy student google this article at sciencedirect? (To find out the "right" answer)
  • Indeed.
  • but she uses a fake name for the location, that'd help
  • And, she made up some of the details, including the extra data set. My students would think they had the wrong article.
  • good point
  • how do you evaluate your student's reports?
  • very nice
  • how do your online students collaborate?
  • Here are links to info on the SERC site on Teaching with Cases and with Investigative Cases -- you will notice that we don't have many geoscience examples. It would be great to get some more!!
  • I find a few of the students do it and many don't collaborate
  • have you ever tried peer-review of papers? This works very well in face-to-face.
  • in my f2f seminar class, I had them peer-review uploaded drafts on our course delivery system Blackboard and it worked great! I graded the final drafts and gave feedback on the earlier drafts as I had time.
  • Have you used Calbrated Peer Review?
  • No, how does that work?
  • What is calibrated peer review?
  • exactly how we use it (although it is more manual)
  • interesting!
  • Very nice presentation, and a neat exercise that has been adapted to the online environment.
  • Very interesting indeed.

Follow-Up Discussion Comments

  • At our university ... all online course content becomes university property
  • ditto for me
  • we are switching to D2L now from Blackboard and we are encouraged to put everything there. We are limited in terms of our website development so any suggestions then?
  • I believe that's true for us as well
  • We could encourage them to license them for educational use with attribution
  • We have the choice. If we apply for reimbursement for course development - it belongs to the university. If we do not receive funding, it is ours.
  • It is so dang hard to navigate in d2L
  • I embedded website pages within D2L
  • I think we are required to keep our materials on Blackboard.
  • there are two issues here -- intellectual property and mechanics of offering the course
  • I've used Drupal for other things, and now I think I'll try it for my on-line class -- thanks Eliza!
  • Given that we think the barrier to doing this is the time it takes, we should all be pushing for shared content!
  • Thank you all!!!
  • How about a discussion of putting labs online?
  • I am now migrating from shared content to shared teaching across universities
  • I'd love to hear more Don in the discussion.
  • most Penn State online classes are offered at the branch campuses as well, with the model Don is describing
  • In Lecturetools your assets are stored for your use in subsequent semesters and you can "share" them with others if your have the rights.
  • Wow.
  • I like sharing the courses among universities, but we can't even get it together to team teach courses in the same department! The administration doesn't know who to give the credit to.
  • I will be team teaching a course this fall in global studies.
  • Mel -- I am doing a Global studies course too
  • There are 3 of us for a 3 cr course - we each get 1 cr
  • I am getting the full credit as an overload
  • I will only be doing the last 5 weeks for the environmental science portion.
  • We are offering an online Global Studies degree program in an accelerated format

Threaded discussion: Challenges in online geoscience education
The topics for the best practices pages will be based on these challenges, so this discussion will help us frame what the important issues are for faculty.

Asynchronous - Visit the workspace page about potential topics for our writing projects. Feel free to add to that page (here are instructions)

Roadcheck evaluation

Thursday, June 24

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Continue threaded discussions from Wednesday

8:00 Pacific | 9:00 Mountain | 10:00 Central | 11:00 Eastern: Challenges and Methods (2 hours)

10:00 - 10:30 Challenges (30 minutes)
  • Synthesize the challenges from Wednesday's discussions
  • Begin to think about which challenge you may want to write about
10:30 - 11:30 Methods, Part I (1.5 hours)
Panel of speakers present about methods and challenges in teaching online. Ten minute presentation followed by whole group discussion
10:30 - 11:00 Adding Interactivity into Online Courses (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 386kB Jun23 10) - Bill Hirt, College of the Siskiyous
View Screencast (Quicktime Video 179.5MB Jun24 10)

11:00 - 11:30 Delivering Online Content using Lecture Tools - Perry Samson, University of Michigan
View Screencast (Quicktime Video 159.6MB Jun24 10) (We only recorded the second half in the Elluminate confusion -- apologies. We have the full audio and will do something with that, but at the moment here's what I have.)

11:30 - 12:00 Online Discussions: The Heart and Soul of Online Courses (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 881kB Jun24 10) - Karin Kirk, Science Education Resource Center
View Screencast (Quicktime Video 197.7MB Jun24 10)

Comments from Bill Hirt's Presentation

  • I have a dorky lab where students have to measure the angle of refraction of light through water and takes pictures of how they do it . . . it kind of works. I could share so you could all laugh at me
  • I'd like to learn more about downloading online data and creating activities with them.
  • Their are websites out there for help in identifying minerals and rocks (
  • Here's a link to my optics lab
  • The Hazard City CD is bundled with two of the books I use (Env Geol & Hazards) and works very well.
  • hazard city comes with keller's env. geol. text can you get it separate?

Comments from Perry Sampson's Presentation:

  • Is there a fee associated with LectureTools?
  • no, it's free
  • So this is a large f-t-f lecture and every student has a notebook computer in the room?
  • can lecturetools run effectively on a mobile phone or an ipad?
  • Yes

From Karin Kirk's Presentation:

  • Adult learners are better at online discussions I have found - more insightful comments
  • so you had to take attendance in an online course?
  • In d2L I can check their status and I do check to ensure everyone is logging in (at first).
  • I do that as well. I send emails the first couple of weeks after checking their progress about every other day.

Regarding ways to assess/keep track of student participation in discussions:

  • Double monitor?
  • I agree! some things are worth doing by hand
  • Could you imagine this with 100 students?
  • 40 is overwhelming -- I use the same method for grading but have 40 students in my class sometimes.
  • I divide into 2 sections for discussion, randomly.
  • I'm going to have to build better evaluations into my discussions. thanks for great tips
  • In class you wouldn't want to be caught filling out a table
  • How do you tactfully handle difficult (combative) posters?

11:00 Pacific | 12:00 Mountain | 1:00 Central | 2:00 Eastern: Methods, Part II (1.75 hours)

Synchronous group discussion about successful strategies for online courses
1:00 - 1:30 Assessment in Online Courses
1:30 - 2:00 Student Motivation and Engagement
2:00 Formation of working groups around topics for pages describing challenges and best practices for teaching geoscience online

2:30 Instructions for how to use a workspace page. Instructions for Friday's work

Asynchronous - Working groups touch base using workspace pages.

Detecting and preventing plagiarism and cheating:

  • So, what we need to be doing is really adapting a data-rich lab to online use?
  • Turnitin is one of the most effective tools my University is subscribed
  • we use SafeAssign to do the same thing.
  • Amazingly we can do it automatically in d2l. It is one of the cooler features of how d2l is set up.
  • Alll written assignments are submitted to turnitin including exam essay answers
  • Can anyone use it or does your univ have to subscribe to it
  • your Institution got to be subscribed
  • i will have to check into that. i assign a paper for my envr sci course (both online and f2f). maybe our English dept has a subscription
  • Just ID ed a case yesterday
  • Plagiarism tutorial
  • Students do not tend to look back at the comments you make on the assignments you give back to them
  • I do it both ways, electronically and scan to pdf
  • tell me more about the digital pen please?
  • Video too
  • I type comments in a copy/paste clipboard making it easier to grade 50 or so labs in Word
  • I have a word document of common comments for copy and paste
  • Also have acronyms for all grammar corrects
  • Can you post these lists of comments and grammatical corrections?
  • the pen tablet I use is made by wacom:
  • if you have exams with writing in them, it is easier to identify cheaters
  • Yes, short answer
  • what is the pyramid exam?
  • Information about the Pyramid exam from SERC
  • I like using exams like you just described as learning experiences and opportunities for synthesis, but my students hate it - they find it more stressful to prepare for...
  • could you translate it to online by making the collaborative part a discussion that lasts x days, and then the individual part is done separately?
  • I have a similar doc but in Word
  • is this a secure document? I mean can students only see their own?
  • I have a similar doc but in Word, very effective for consistent grading in a big online class, but I like excel format better for tabulating score
  • I am always asked ("Will I Pass?)
  • Do you have a separate sheet for each module?
  • Does anyone have the same problem where their student's do not even bother to see the comments you gave them?
  • yes, some students do not bother
  • i have that problem in f2f but not nearly as much online
  • Anybody is using rubrics in blackboard, especially for a large number of term papers, it gives feedback to the students.
  • is the rubric ready-made?
  • yes. I think part of it for me is getting it all going.
  • I do group lead discussion in my f2f class that are part peer graded and part mine. I tried it online via the discussion boards and it did NOT work
  • I have some classes that do that (ask each other questions). My class this summer has not done that at all. I think it has a lot to do with the personality of the class.

Due dates/times:

  • I do Friday at 5pm. Is there a better day/time?
  • Is there any sense of Sunday 10 p.m due dates?
  • Mine are Sun PM = probably not the best
  • Mel, Many of my students work during the week and really appreciate having the weekends to study.
  • I have them open for over a week at a time
  • I usually have my exams open for 3 days time and I still have student's that miss taking the exam
  • My due dates do span a weekend, they just cannot wait til the last minute by having it on Friday at 5pm. The next day (ie, the weekend) they get to start on the new stuff. I always give them at least a week to do an assignment or exam (but individual exams are timed).

The "disappearing student" and student time commitments:

  • yes, the disappearing student
  • USD's continuing education course actually calls the students if we give them names of students that drop off.
  • What about motivating the student that is taking the course because they have a fear of science and science labs... I generally do not think they do well in an online version of a science class. Any suggestions??
  • students in the state of Minnesota's system (MNSCU) get dropped for failure to attend.
  • Time.... they do not think about being in lecture for 3 hours and lab for 3 hours in a f-2f course... that they need to be working on this course at least as much
  • I find it useful to follow up once or twice initially -- sometimes it is a student who gets behind due to a family emergency or something.
  • I send them a couple of emails at the beginning of the semester, but I also think they should be responsible.
  • In my intro class, I do email the freshmen who don't come to class and they often respond that they are glad that I care if they are there or not.
  • I actually had a student hit by a dump truck one semester
  • Penn State's president sends an email to all faculty every semester to encourage us to prevent attrition especially among freshmen
  • If you're paid to do overload at my university and you get paid by the number of heads who finish. Not the number in the class. It's a dumb system, one that I hate.
  • Over enroll by a few students to meet full pay, even if a few drop
  • At NEO, we have a system that we go in and give warnings for assignments, missing class, etc. The system sends the student an email. And, it is officially logged that we have tried to contact them.

Attendance and syllabus:

  • I show my students a graph with grades and number of days missed just to prove that point!
  • that's a cool system.
  • I LOVE those "how to be a college student" classes!
  • I actually drop an assignment for one of my f2f courses this spring because they were so good with student attendance and turning in assignments to show my appreciation for making my life a bit easier by them doing their job. This was a non-science majors general ed.
  • Metacognition SERC module
  • I have a quiz about the syllabus and they can't access the assignment dropboxes until they get 90% correct on it
  • This survey is something that is recommended by Quality Matters
  • I do too, 100% some took it 5 times, no grades do
  • I like that! I do one as well, but I do not have that restriction on it. hmmm.....
  • i count mine as a hw assignment


Friday, June 25

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Asynchronous - Working groups meet via phone and workspace page.
By 11:00 Central time, each working group completes the following
-Title for page
-Scope of what you are writing
-Resources you will need to find
-Delegation of tasks within the group

9:00 Pacific | 10:00 Mountain | 11:00 Central | 12:00 Eastern: Check in with each group (30 minutes)

Quick reporting from each group. 5 minutes per group, using your workspace page as basis for show-and-tell.

11:00 - 4:00 Asynchronous - work on working groups pages

2:00 Pacific | 3:00 Mountain | 4:00 Central | 5:00 Eastern: Online jigsaw begins (1 hour)

Each group member looks at one other group's page, then reports back to their group about what cool things the other group is doing.
Jigsaw assignments

Roadcheck evaluation

Weekend work

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Asynchronous - Using what you have learned so far, update your course or activity page.

Monday, June 28

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Asynchronous - Working groups meet to prepare for presentations

8:00 Pacific | 9:00 Mountain | 10:00 Central | 11:00 Eastern: Working group presentations (2 hours)

Attendance at this session is required
Each working group presents their page plus examples, followed by open discussion and suggestions for improvement.

Working groups complete final changes to working groups page
Asynchronous - Make final changes to your course or activity page.
Asynchronous - View others' course and activity pages and leave comments on pages

Tuesday, June 29

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Asynchronous - Final polishing to working group pages and individual course or activity pages
Asynchronous - Final posts to discussion threads

12:00 - Working group pages, course pages and activity pages go live - All discussion threads completed.

1:30 - Final Thoughts discussion thread
Every workshop participant complete at least one post to the Final Thoughts thread discussing the important lessons learned, and the most important observations, recommendations, or thoughts that should be passed on to the larger community.

12:00 Pacific | 1:00 Mountain | 2:00 Central | 3:00 Eastern: Closing Session (1 hour)

Closing Plenary - Cathy Manduca - Presentation and discussion of synthesis document, recommendations and next steps.

End of workshop survey