Context matters: Designing data-rich geodesy teaching materials that get used
GETSI (Geodesy Tools for Societal Issues) project is developing modules that allow undergraduate students to engage in geodetic data analysis relevant to societally important topics of natural hazards, water resources, and climate change. The modules are also an onramp to quantitative skills and interdisciplinary thinking. GETSI endeavors to make teaching with geodetic data more accessible to instructors through flexible materials that can be adapted to many contexts. Emerging findings indicate that the materials have been successfully implemented in multiple contexts and that instructors perceive the materials as useful and of good quality.
Based on the InTeGrate development and testing model, GETSI modules contain ~2 weeks of material, divided into 3-6 units (7 published modules and 6 in development: https://serc.carleton.edu/getsi/index.html). Twenty-three author and 13 non-author pilot testers have submitted student data and feedback to date. These varied experiences are incorporated into "Teaching Tips" and "Instructor Stories" to aid broad dissemination.
Additional feedback is collected through an online "Share Your Experience" form, and helps to characterize the experience of teaching with GETSI materials. Feedback from 25 instructors indicates that implementation varies widely, from adopting materials closely to significant modifications or omissions. Prior experience with relevant geodetic technique also varies. Despite the different adaptations, 100% indicate that they would likely or very likely use the materials again and that the quality of the materials were high (average 8.9/10). Faculty indicated that the materials' use of geodetic data and methods, development of quantitative skills, and focus on societal issues were important; that students enjoyed working with "real" data; and that the format was easy to use.
Use of the materials is increasing, and website analytics show punctuated growth around dissemination events that remain higher after the events and ongoing requests by instructors to access the instructor-only files (>150 requests since 2018; ~90 2015-17).