Making Good Courses Great with Educational Technology
2015 Virtual Workshop

January 12-16, 2015
Virtual workshop

This workshop will empower you to use learning technology to make your classes – be they face-to-face, online, or in the field - even better. Learning technology has been improving dramatically, and can now help us use best practices efficiently and effectively. These new approaches and instructional technologies are even changing the way many of us teach our classes. "Flip" the classroom so that students spend more time thinking and less time writing. Use peer grading to assign essays that add opportunities for focused student writing. Increase engagement in large classes with individual, real-time response systems. Automate feedback systems so that information on what's working is instantly available and use that data to optimize course content. Incorporate web resources – from videos to MOOCs to virtual worlds – to help students develop deeper understandings.

No matter what sort of geoscience course you're teaching, these new technologies can make your course better, and in this workshop we'll learn about developments that will apply to the courses that you teach. There will be practical advice on how to apply technologies that you're interested in - by professors with experience in the trenches – and maybe some new ideas that you won't have encountered before. Either way, our goal is to make courses better without making workloads heavier.

This workshop is open to all faculty teaching courses across all the geosciences, including atmospheric science, earth-system science, environmental science, geology, oceanography and physical geography. We welcome participation from individual faculty, instructors, and department chairs, as well as groups of faculty from departments and regional groups from multiple, connected schools. The workshop will not be limited in size and will experiment with techniques for working with large groups in an on-line format. To facilitate our ability to work with a large number of participants, we will enlist the help of up to 10 participant leaders. For more information about the workshop and its format, proceed to the overview page.

Workshop Convener

  • Jonathan Tomkin, University of Illinois (tomkin AT

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 a grant from the National Science Foundation - Division of Undergraduate Education .

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