A Curricular Audit Process for Faculty Developers of Student-Centered Curricula that Meld Geoscience and Societal Issues

Tuesday 2:00pm REC Center Medium Ice Overlook Room


Mary Savina, Carleton College
David Steer, University of Akron Main Campus
Ellen Iverson, Carleton College
Cathy Manduca, Carleton College
Kristin O'Connell, Carleton College
We designed and refined a curriculum auditing methodology to support faculty authors preparing materials for the Interdisciplinary Teaching of Geoscience for a Sustainable Future (InTeGrate) project. Authors with common interests and content expertise are configured into 3-5 person teams from institutions of diverse size and mission. The teams develop curricula designed to engage students by 1) connecting content to geoscience-related grand challenges facing societies, 2) developing students' abilities to address interdisciplinary problems, 3) improving geoscientific thinking skills, 4) making use of authentic and credible geoscience data and 5) fostering systems thinking. The curriculum auditing methodology includes providing written standards for curriculum design, including a rubric indexed to a set of common standards for all curricula. Faculty developers participate in workshops to help them write and later revise their materials. An assessment consultant assigned to each team assists developers in meeting guidelines and periodically audits their materials to ensure they are closely adhering to the standards. Two assessment team members unfamiliar with the materials independently audit the materials before they are tested with students.

Since 2012, more than 49 faculty from the same number of institutions have developed 16 curricular units. Curriculum audit scores for the first cohort of curriculum developers indicated that these groups encountered the most difficulty meeting criteria related to 1) systems thinking, 2) metacognition, 3) grading rubrics, 4) writing learning outcomes and objectives, and 5) linking and aligning materials across the units. After the leadership team revised the faculty development program, authors' abilities to meet those standards improved, as shown by rise in the rubric scores between Developer Cohort 1 and Cohort 2. We find the curricula auditing approach to be an effective methodology for evaluating materials prior to classroom pilot testing.

Presentation Media

InTeGrate rubric and audit (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) PRIVATE FILE 15.9MB Jul14 15)