Annotated References

General Research on Learning

  • Using online homework assignments to implement the learning cycle in large courses for general education. Grove, 2002 This article describes online homework assignments, named Virtual Voyages, that were designed to more actively engage students with course material in a large-sized, introductory geoscience course. (citation and description)
  • Using Data in Undergraduate Science Classrooms. Manduca and Mogk, 2003 Final report on an interdisciplinary workshop held at Carleton College, April, 2002. (citation and description)
  • How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. NRC, 2000 This book, available from the National Academy Press, is written to provide educators with an understanding of research results on how people learn and their ramifications for classroom instruction. (Full Text Online)
  • National Coordination Office for Information Technology Research and Development: Publications. Many different governmental reports such as The President's Information Technology Advisory Committee report Using Information Technology to Transform the Way We Learn can be downloaded from this site. (more info)


  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 WORKING DRAFT - The W3C Web Access Initiative is currently working on version 2.0 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Version 2.0 "attempts to apply guidelines to a wider range of technologies and to use wording that may be understood by a more varied audience." (W3C)
  • Coblis: This site simulates how websites look to people with several different kinds of color blindness.

  • Bobby. A service for testing your web pages for accessibility, according to either the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0) or the U.S. Section 508 Guidelines. ( This site is likely no longer available. )
  • Getting Started: Making a Website Accessible. This site provides an initial introduction for people new to Web accessibility. It features topics such as why web accessibility is needed, what makes a website accessible, resources for building accessible sites, and tools for evaluating the accessibility of sites. It also includes links to additional resources including accessibility guidelines, techniques, and training resources. (more info)
  • Constructing Accessible Web Sites. Thatcher et al., 2002 This book examines the fundamental ideas of web accessibility, the technical issues involved, legal and policy issues, and the practical issues of making web sites accessible. (citation and description)
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. These guidelines explain how to make Web content accessible to people with disabilities. They are intended for use by all Web content developers as well as developers of authoring tools. This site also features a separate document about design techniques which explains how to implement the principles and ideas defined by the guidelines. (more info)
  • WebAIM: Web Accessibility in Mind. This comprehensive site on Web Accessibility provides "information and solutions": how-to's, training CD's, checklists, information on other web and non-web resources (books, videos, workshops, etc.), links to evaluation software. (more info)


  • Classroom Assessment Techniques (2nd ed.). (Angelo and Cross, 1993) This revised and expanded edition of the 1988 handbook offers teachers at all levels of experience detailed, how-to advice on classroom assessment�from what it is and how it works to planning, implementing, and analyzing assessment projects. (citation and description)
  • Assessing Learning in Australian Universities: Ideas, Strategies, and Resources for Quality Student Assessment. This extensive site from the Centre for the Study of Higher Education presents reports aiming to renovate the assessment of student learning at Autralian Universities. (more info)
  • Blackboard: e-Education. Blackboard Inc. offers a complete suite of enterprise software products and services that power e-Education programs for Higher Education, K-12, Corporate/Government and International. Blackboard offers solutions for online teaching and learning, campus communities, campus commerce services, and integration of Web-enabled student services and back office systems. (more info)
  • Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. Chickering and Gamson (1987) Seven principles that can help to improve undergraduate education are identified, based on research on college teaching and learning. (Full Text Online)
  • Teaching Learning and Assessment Together: the reflective classroom. Ellis, A. K. (2001) This book goes back to the basic purpose of assessment: to show what students know and are able to do. (citation and description)
  • Field-tested Learning Assessment Guide for Science, Math, Engineering and Technology Instructors. The Field-tested Learning Assessment Guide for Science, Math, Engineering and Technology Instructors site goes into detail about several that have been contributed by faculty all over the country. FLAG presents Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) that have been reviewed by an editorial board to make sure that they are compatable with current professional standards for assessment. (more info)
  • Educational Testing and Measurement: Classroom application and practice. (7th Ed.). Kubiszyn, T. and Borich, G. (2002) The Seventh Edition of Educational Testing and Measurement retains its jargon-free, reader-friendly, conversational style, and continues to emphasize practical assessment strategies that prepare teachers-in-training for today’s challenges in measuring student progress. (citation and description)
  • Knowing What Students Know: The Science and Design of Educational Assessment. NRC, 2001 This book looks at research into human learning and educational measurement and explains how these fields can form the basis for new approaches to assessment. (citation and description)
  • Nine Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning. American Association for Higher Education lists and describes nine principles that they see as necessary for effective student assessment. ( This site may be offline. )
  • Online Evaluation Resource Library. The Online Evaluation Resource Library (OERL) is a Web-based set of resources for improving the evaluation of projects funded by the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) of the National Science Foundation (NSF). (more info)
  • Teaching Goals Inventory. This site offers the Teaching Goals Inventory (TGI) online, a self-assessment of instructional goals for college and university instructors. The purpose of the TGI is threefold: to help teachers become more aware of what they want to accomplish in individual courses; to help faculty locate classroom assessment techniques that they can adapt and use to assess how well they are achieving their teaching and learning goals; and to provide a starting point for discussion of teaching and learning goals among colleagues. This site allows users to fill out the inventory online and automatically see their scores. Score reports will also contain comparative scores from large samples. The TGI might be useful for teachers when they are developing a new course, revising a course, writing or re-writing their philosophy of teaching, or participating in a curriculum review. (more info)
  • The Earth's Atmosphere - a Practice Exam. This site offers a 12-question interactive practice exam about the Earth's atmosphere. By clicking on the circle next to each answer, students will be given a response that includes whether or not they are correct and some information about the answer they chose. ( This site may be offline. )
  • WebCT and Online Assessment: The best thing since student online assessment program?. This electronic journal article from Education, Technology and Society, discusses the advantages of online assessment using a Web CT system. (more info)
  • WebCT product site. WebCT is a software company that provides educational technology that supports a full range of teaching and learning styles and optimizes intellectual and technical resources. They have created a framework that includes teaching and learning tools, content management capabilities, personalization of the learning experience, learning information management and Enterprise-class platform architecture. (more info)
  • Understanding by Design. Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (1998) Wiggins and McTighe propose a multifaceted approach, with the six "facets" of understanding. The facets combine with backward design to provide a powerful, practical framework for designing curriculum, assessment, and instruction. (citation and description)

Copyright and Intellectual Property

  • Crash Course in Copyright. The Copyright Crash Course provides information about how ownership of copyrighted materials works, what is fair use, and when and how to get permission to use someone else's materials. It focuses on copyright issues pertaining to both text and multimedia resources. The site also offers an interactive online tutorial and links to a multitude of additional resources regarding copyright law and fair use practices. (more info)
  • Creative Commons. Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization working to redraw the copyright landscape by using licensing agreements that offer a greater degree of freedom to those who would reshape or redistribute copyrighted material. Geared toward artists and educators, this website provides information about CC and its mission to expand the range of creative work available in the public domain. (more info)
  • Ownership of Faculty Works and University Copyright Policy. This article discusses the issue of copyright policy within the academic environment. In particular, it focuses on the increasing pressure on institutions to revise their policies regarding copyright interests in faculty works. (more info)
  • Stanford University Fair Use and Copyright Center. This clearinghouse site provides an abundance of resources about copyright laws and fair use, including links to legal documents and legislation, internet and web resources, tutorials, resources for librarians, FAQ's, and a monthly newsletter. (more info)

Critical Thinking

  • Taxonomy of Educational Objectives Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain.. Bloom et al., 1956 This was the first attempt to classify learning behaviors and provide concrete measures for identifying different levels of learning. (citation and description)
  • Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. Chickering and Gamson (1987) Seven principles that can help to improve undergraduate education are identified, based on research on college teaching and learning. (Full Text Online)
  • Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes: Lesson Plans. This website provides access to lesson plans published by the Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes (ENSI). The lessons are organized in three categories – the nature of science, the origins of life, and evolution. (more info)
  • How to Improve Critical Thinking Using Educational Technology. Critical thinking is one of education's central goals and most valued outcomes, but it can difficult to teach effectively. The Reason! project has developed the Reason!Able software as part of a general method aimed at enhancing critical thinking skills. This paper describes the challenges involved, the theoretical basis of the Reason! project, the Reason!Able software, and results of intensive evaluation of the Reason! approach. (more info)
  • Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: A Guide for Teaching and Learning. This is the online version of the book "Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: A Guide for Teaching and Learning." Published by the National Academies Press, the book is presented complete with text and images, is browseable in a variety of ways, and has a PDF version for easy printing. A hardcopy version is also available for purchase from the site. (more info)
  • Learning Domains or Bloom's Taxonomy. This website provides an explanation of Bloom's Taxonomy for the three domains of learning: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. The cognitive domain involves knowledge and the development of intellectual skills, the affective domain deals with emotion, and the psychomotor domain includes physical movement, coordination, and use of motor-skills. (more info)
  • Learning Skills Program: Bloom's Taxonomy. This website is an adaptation of Bloom's taxonomy of learning. Benjamin Bloom created this taxonomy in 1956 for categorizing the levels of comprehension that commonly occur in educational settings. (more info)
  • How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. NRC, 2000 This book, available from the National Academy Press, is written to provide educators with an understanding of research results on how people learn and their ramifications for classroom instruction. (Full Text Online)
  • Critical Thinking: What Every Person Needs To Survive in a Rapidly Changing World. Paul, 1990 This book is a collection of papers that make the argument that critical thinking needs to be the center of educational reform. There are 39 papers in three sections: What Is Critical Thinking?, How To Teach, and Grasping Connections-Seeing Contrasts. (citation and description)

Distance Education and Networked Classrooms

  • Student dishonesty and its control in college. Bowers, 1964 This paper reports the results of a survey of 5000 college students regarding academic dishonesty. Analysis involves many different areas including the setting in which cheating occurs, measures of cheating, value-orientation and cheating, and institutional arrangements to control cheating. Further activities are suggested to explore the effects of various background factors on a student's personal sense of disapproval of cheating. (citation and description)
  • Earthquakes Online. Butler et al., 1996 This article examines the use of technology to augment science education at the middle and high school levels. Earthquake data was downloaded from the internet on a daily basis, plotted and tracked by science students. Implications for the project are discussed. (citation and description)
  • Deep in the Hearts of Learners: Insights into the Nature of Online Community. In this article from the Journal of Distance Education, the results of an interpretive study conducted among adult learners engaged in online study present an intensive look at students' interaction with online community. (more info)
  • Developing and teaching online courses in geology at the two-year college level in Georgia. Gore, 2000 This paper describes the development, organization, and administration of fully online physical and historical geology classes at Georgia Perimeter College in 1998. (citation and description)
  • Higher Ed Takes On High-Tech Cheating. This article from the Chronicle of Higher Education expounds on the state of cheating in online classes and potential countering methods. (more info)
  • What we know about cheating in college. McCabe and Trevino, 1996 This paper examines what is known about the prevalence of cheating on college campuses and some of the larger trends in academic honesty. (citation and description)
  • Perspectives on Case-based Multimedia Web Projects in Science. This article discusses the merits of case-based learning in an interactive online environment. Researchers used both qualitative and quantitative research over a 2-year period to examine the learning that occurred in a high school context when students were engaged in a case-based multimedia project. (more info)
  • Quizzing and Testing On the Internet. This site offers tutorials on three different software tools for online student assessment and discusses the general purposes and usefulness of quizzing and testing, the different types of assessment and question formats, and the pros and cons of online assessments. The site also provides links to a comprehensive list of additional assessment software packages, an example of online quiz results, and a journal article that evaluates a selection of Web-based testing and evaluation systems. (more info)
  • Sociology of (Distance) Education. The Sociology of (Distance) Education site provides dozens of links to general information on distance education from journals, associations, articles, commentaries, to authoring tools and utilities, and other link collections. ( This site is likely no longer available. )
  • Strategies to Minimize Cheating Online. This site lists a number of different strategies an instructor can use to accurately assess student performance in online exams and minimize a student's temptation to cheat. (more info)

Examples of Instructional Website Design

  • American Museum of Natural History-Resources for Learning . Again, most of the resources provided here are appropriate for younger (K-12) learners, but many exemplify effective web design principles. (more info)
  • Cosmic Catastrophes. This homepage for a freshman astronomy class provides a detailed syllabus and clearly defined learning goals for students, not only about astronomy and the universe, but about how we make choices, as individuals and communities, in the face of risks. The page also features links to lecture topic "enhancers" in the form of text and graphics that augment in-class learning. (more info)
  • Dr. Robert Stewart's Physical Oceanography Class Page. This homepage for an introductory physical oceanography course provides the class syllabus, an outline of clearly defined learning goals, and an interactive lecture schedule with links to text and graphics for each topic. Homework assignments, links to PDF and online versions of class text, and a detailed semester review including sample exam questions are also provided. (more info)
  • Geomorphology at University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. This is the home page for a geomorphology course for upper level undergraduates and graduate students at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. The site contains a syllabus, course goals and objectives, illustrated lecture notes, a course schedule and policies of the class. Topics covered include stream flow, karst landscapes, glacial landforms, soil properties and slope stability. ( This site may be offline. )
  • How does the temperature of the Great Lakes change over time?. This classroom activity allows students to use water surface temperature, bathymetric data and weather data to look at trends in the water temperature of the Great Lakes. The exercise asks students to make predictions, and then use the data to answer questions. The site contains everything that is needed for the exercise, including student handouts, maps, links to data sources, and background information and questions for discussion. (more info)
  • Introduction to Geophysical Exploration. Introduction to Geophysical Exploration is a traditional class for upper-level undergraduate students developed by Tom Boyd at the Colorado School of Mines that is augmented with network technology. The explicit goal of the course is to lead students to understand how geophysicists work - the language, skills, and techniques they employ in solving real problems. ( This site is likely no longer available. )
  • Journey to Planet Earth. While the content of this PBS site is generally pitched below college level, the program pages offer nice examples of web design elements, including incorporation of photos and video clips, links to in-depth topical coverage and databases and interactive pop-up elements. (more info)
  • Vostok Ice Core Excel Activity. With this exercise, students use Excel to graph and analyze Vostok ice core data (160,000 years of Ice core data from Vostok Station). (more info)

Learning Goals

  • Essays in Teaching Excellence: Teaching Goals, Assessment, Academic Freedom and Higher Learning. This publication, part of an 8-part series of essays originally published by The Professional & Organizational Development Network in Higher Education, addresses the topic of how goal-directed teaching and learning can be more effective and satisfying for both faculty and students. (more info)
  • Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence. This site is the Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence, where 'Teaching Goals and Instructional Patterns' was located ( now unavailable), which is now available at This pdf is part of a step-by-step process which explores the design elements of a web lesson. The aim of this essay is to make teachers aware of the considerations of learning goals that will influence the shape of their course, and to emphasize that the key to developing effective technology-based learning activities is to start with clear goals about desired outcomes. The pdf also provides a link to an overview of instructional designs and teaching styles and how they guide teachers in planning a course. (more info)
  • Faculty Teaching Goals in the Online Environment. A PowerPoint presentation given by Kimberly Hardy, Ph.D. at the Council for the Study of Community Colleges 2003 Conference. (more info)
  • What it means to teach online. Hubbard, 1998 This article details how the roles and responsibilities of faculty and students change when a class moves out of a traditional classroom and onto the internet. The author councils against rushing to offer online classes without first having examined several important issues. (citation and description)
  • Facilitating interaction, communication and collaboration in online courses. McNeil et al., 2000 This paper addresses the differences in interaction and communication between traditional classes and those that occur entirely online. It also makes suggestions to strengthen interactions and communications in areas where online education can be weak. (citation and description)
  • Online Teaching Goals. The Educational Technology Center at Northeastern University has extensive resources for developing Learning Goals with respect to online education. ( This site is likely no longer available. )
  • Keeping our focus: a perspective on distance learning and the large introductory science class. Prothero, 2000 This article reviews the overall trends in science teaching practices and identifies areas where use of computers in a traditional class setting can make positive contributions and other areas where it may be weak. The author details experience gained from teaching large introductory oceanography classes in order to demonstrate these ideas. (citation and description)
  • Geomorphology and the World Wide Web. Shroder et al., 2002 This paper examines the possibilities and risks involved in using technology and the World Wide Web to improve the teaching of geomorphology. It also addresses the potential of the web as a research tool and highlights two examples of such research projects. (citation and description)
  • Teaching Goals Inventory. This site offers the Teaching Goals Inventory (TGI) online, a self-assessment of instructional goals for college and university instructors. The purpose of the TGI is threefold: to help teachers become more aware of what they want to accomplish in individual courses; to help faculty locate classroom assessment techniques that they can adapt and use to assess how well they are achieving their teaching and learning goals; and to provide a starting point for discussion of teaching and learning goals among colleagues. (more info)
  • Ten Ways Online Learning Matches, or Surpasses, Face-to-Face Learning. A general discussion of the educational advantages of using web-based materials versus fully traditional classes. ( This site is likely no longer available. )

Resource Reuse

  • Sumner and Dawe, 2001
  • Instructional Architect
  • Reusable Design Guidelines ( require a subscription) published by the NSDL Reusable Learning Project.

  • How to Use HTML Meta Tags. This tutorial explains how to use HTML meta tags to improve the ranking of web sites by search engines. Part of a service called, the site explains the different types of meta tags and how they can be used to direct the way a search engine sees and indexes a web page. The site also provides additional resources about meta tags, including links to tutorials and meta tag generators, builders, and evaluators (more info)
  • Discovery and Use of Online Learning Resources: Case Study Findings. Recker et al. 2004 This paper addresses how teachers find, access, and use digital learning resources. It details the findings of a case study of science and math teachers' practices and desires surrounding the discovery, selection and use of electronic resources for educational purposes. (citation and description)
  • Creating Reusable Educational Materials: Lessons from DLESE. Sumner et al. 2002 This article expands on a model of the reuse of digital educational materials based on experience with the Digital Library for Earth System Education. Strategies for reuse are discussed based on the relevant timeframe, such as whether an instructor is in the planning stages for a course or trying to find a graphic to insert into a lecture that is about to begin. (Full Text Online)

Scaffolding and Sequencing

  • A Scaffolding Approach to Media Education. This site presents a brief definition of scaffolding and example of its usefulness in media education. Published by the Media Awareness Network, the summary was adapted from a posting to their listserv by educator Bakari Chavanu. He defines scaffolding as developing a unit of study through a set sequence of four steps, which are listed. He also provides an example of how the steps of scaffolding would proceed in a media education lesson. (more info)
  • Module Maker. This Module Maker tutorial uses templates to show users how to build online research modules that structure and guide student research efforts towards higher level thinking. Completed modules should be able to challenge students' critical thinking skills while supplying them with information to support such thinking. The tutorial discusses why strong questioning skills are essential to successful web-based learning, and uses examples of real online modules to teach about which techniques are most effective. The author also encourages users to submit feedback and completed modules for listing on the site. (more info)
  • Scaffolding for Success. This site features an excerpt from Dr. Jamie McKenzie's book, Beyond Technology: Questioning, Research and the Information Literate School Community. The featured chapter is on the use of scaffolding techniques in an electronic context to organize and support student investigation or inquiry, and how it helps keep students focused on whatever issue, problem or question is driving a research project. The author defines the relatively new concept of educational scaffolding by describing its eight fundamental characteristics, including how scaffolding provides clear direction and purpose for students. The site also provides links to examples of scaffolding and step-by-step methods for the construction of online resources with an emphasis on scaffolding. (more info)
  • Schools, Skills, and Scaffolding on the Web. This brief tutorial presents information about how students can be supported in acquiring information processing skills as technology, particularly the internet and the web, is integrated into schools and classrooms. The author uses text, slides, exercises, and example resources to discuss how to use scaffolding techniques in web-based learning. He defines scaffolding as supportive, task-oriented, and temporary, and discusses how it can be used to enhance student input, transformation, and output of online resources and information. The author also provides links to further reading about technology in education (more info)
  • Teaching the American Revolution: Scaffolding to Success. This article recounts how students in teacher Joe Banaszynski's classes at Lance Middle School in Kenosha, Wisconsin used scaffolding to conduct a research project about the American Revolution. The article describes the step-by-step process and how using scaffolding techniques created different results than past activities and lessons about the same subject. The article also presents the definition and theory of scaffolding, as well as examples of its usefulness in both traditional classroom settings and technology-enhanced or web-based learning environments. The site also features links to additional educational resources such as learning modules and further publications about scaffolding and other topics. (more info)

Searching for Educational Resources

  • Google is a good way to find all kinds of things, from web resources to books to kitchen sinks, and it was originally designed to look for scientific information on the web.
  • Digital Library in Earth Systems Education DLESE provides a catalogue of all kinds of digital resources for Geoscience, Earth Science, or Earth Systems Science education at all levels.
  • National Science Digital Library
    NSDL provides educational resources for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. Searches here cover several collections of resources, including DLESE.

  • Earth Science Sites of the Week Archive. Mark Francek, Central Michigan University, has created this well-organized, browsable compilation of web resources for earth and environmental sciences. The site is updated frequently, and weekly updates are available via email. You are also encouraged to submit resources (your own or others') to the database. (more info)
  • Eisenhower National Clearinghouse. The Eisenhower National Clearinghouse is a K-12 math and science teacher center. They have a variety of resources and services available on their site. (more info)
  • Merlot. Designed for higher education, browsable by subject. Relatively few resources in the geosciences (58 in December 2003), but a few thousand links in Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Astronomy, and Engineering combined. (more info)
  • The Gateway to Educational Materials. A comprehensive database of educational materials, easy to search by subject and education level. Good browsing capabilities within subjects as well. Each resource includes a brief description. GEM includes extensive resource listings in Geology and Earth Science. Though not dedicated to Earth Science, as is DLESE, GEM is a good place to search for general educational materials. (more info)

Web Design Resources

  • W3Schools - - Tutorials in W3C compliant HTML as well as several other types of web programming languages
  • Writing HTML - - This resource was created to help teachers create learning resources that access information on the Internet
  • - - Lynda Weinman has published a very good series of products on web authoring. She has written books on several of the popular authoring tools currently in use.

  • Online Web Design Tutorial. This easy to follow page-by-page tutorial teaches users how to build a website using clear and concise organization, well-edited content, and a consistent format. It follows a four-step process to help site builders define content, develop architecture, create the design, and implement the site. (more info)
  • Web Style Guide. This online version of the book 'Web Style Guide' provides readers with a broad framework for understanding the principles of web design. (more info)

Web Site Usability

  • Advanced Common Sense. This is the homepage of web usability consultant Steve Krug. The site provides an overview of his services as an interface design and usability reviewer of both existing sites and works-in-progress. The site also features online and audio interviews with Mr. Krug, information about his international usability workshops, access to purchasing his web usability book, and a mailing list. (more info)
  • Usability 101. This short overview provides tips and guidelines for website interface usability. Usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces on websites are to use. This is defined by the concepts of learnability, efficiency, memorability, errors, satisfaction, and utility. The word "usability" also refers to methods for improving ease-of-use during the design process. This site also features links to design guidelines and techniques, evaluation tools, and usability workshops. (more info)

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