Geoscience Education Research Community Planning Workshop

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 8:30am-11:30am Gordon: Concerto Meeting Room

Session Chairs

Kristen St. John, James Madison University
Kim Kastens, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Heather Macdonald, College of William and Mary
karen mcneal, Auburn University Main Campus

The Geoscience Education Research (GER) Community Planning workshop will serve as a forum for discussion by the GER community on what is most needed to support current and future geoscience education researchers. The workshop aims to engage the GER community in activities that will foster synthesis, prioritization, collaboration, and resources development for the discipline.

Applications for this workshop are now closed. Notifications will be sent by February 29. Participants will register after application decisions are made (please do not register before notification). We anticipate being able to provide some stipends to support participation at the workshop (see application).


The 2015 GER workshop initiated the process of bringing the GER community together to synthesize results and identify areas of need to support geoscience education researchers. The 2016 GER Community Planning workshop is designed to take the next steps to make the synthesis a reality, to prioritize and address critical GER needs, and to broaden GER community involvement in the process. Workshop activities will be designed to support:

  • Discussion and community-feedback on initial results from in-progress GER literature reviews,
  • Discussion of findings from a Winter 2016 community-wide GER needs survey,
  • Exploration of a GER online "toolbox" design and resource development, and
  • Opportunities for groups to develop action plans to advance GER collaborations and ideas for future research projects.

Target Audience

  • Geoscience education researchers at different stages in their career and different types of institutions. We seek a broad cross-section of the GER community to ensure representation of geoscience education researchers from the 2YC-4YR-R1 institutional spectrum. GER faculty who advise graduate students, GER faculty who work at undergraduate-only institutions, GER faculty who are the only discipline-based educational researchers on their campuses, graduate students in GER, and other geoscience education researchers, each have valuable perspectives to share at the workshop.
  • Other learning scientists, such as education researchers and cognitive scientists, who are interested in collaborating on GER.
  • Others who can help propel the translation of GER results into geoscience teaching and learning practice (e.g., professional society officers, center for teaching and learning staff, department chairs).


  • To identify the strengths and limitations of GER findings, and make recommendations for future research.
  • To prioritize the needs of the GER community and progress on action plans to address these needs.
  • To promote connections, collaborations, and communications within the GER community.


This workshop will use small group discussion and work-time, whole group discussions, presentations, and other structured activities to support community-engagement, sharing of ideas, problem-solving, and collaboration. The workshop will connect to afternoon sessions, and may be augmented by an evening event open to the broader EER community.

In addition, we plan for two pre-workshop activities:

  1. At least one pre-workshop webinar will be offered to share information with the GER community. Potential topics for a webinar include sharing of the winter 2016 GER community survey results, and/or initial design concepts of the online GER toolbox.
  2. Following the practice of the Tectonics and Structural Geology community in their community planning for the future of structure and tectonics research, we will encourage GER workshop participants to submit a short "idea paper" prior to our meeting (by June 1). This will be an optional workshop-related activity. Idea papers should be no more than one page and should outline the perceived top research priorities, grand challenges, and opportunities for the coming decades in geoscience education research. Idea papers can be single or multi-authored. Idea papers will be posted on the workshop website prior to the meeting.
Feedback and suggestions may be provided to the workshop organizing committee.

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