On the Cutting Edge: Demonstrating Impact on Teaching

Monday 1:45pm REC Center Medium Ice Overlook Room
Oral Presentation Part of Geoscience Education Research I


Cathy Manduca, Carleton College
Monica Bruckner, Carleton College
David McConnell, North Carolina State University
Ellen Iverson, Carleton College
Established in 2002 with funding from NSF, more than 1800 geoscience faculty, post-docs and graduate students have participated in On the Cutting Edge (CE) professional development workshops. The CE website, comprised of 5000+ web pages addressing quality teaching in geoscience , had more than 1 million users in 2013. A national survey of geoscience faculty shows that those who have both attended one or more events and report using the website are 1.5 times more likely to spend more than 20% of a course period on activities, questions or discussion. These results are borne out by more than 200 observations of instructors teaching a variety of geoscience courses at all types of institutions using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) protocol. These data show that those who have participated in one or more CE events and use the website have average RTOP score of 47, significantly higher (more than 15 points) than the average score of faculty who have not participated in CE events and report having not used the website. This presentation will focus on the relationship between self reported teaching behavior and observed teaching behavior. How much confidence can be placed on the survey data? How can they be used to generalize the observational data? How do these results compare to those observed in other disciplines.