Navigating and Contributing to Teach the Earth

Monday 12-2:30pm PT / 1-3:30pm MT / 2-4:30pm CT / 3-5:30pm ET Online
Afternoon Mini Workshop


Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Kyle Fredrick, Pennsylvania Western University - California

Have you developed an activity that you're especially proud of and think others might benefit from? Have you ever visited the Teach the Earth portal (sometimes known as SERC) and felt overwhelmed by the volume of materials and navigating the site? If the answer to either (or both) of these questions is yes, this is the mini-workshop for you! We'll present what is available on Teach the Earth, tips on navigating and searching efficiently, and what went into the development of quality activities found there. In addition, we'll talk about the review process and how to contribute an activity that could be a part of our Exemplary Collection.

All mini-workshops will take place online, via Zoom (see below).

Session Connection Info

This workshop has already taken place.


By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Explore relevant resources available through Teach the Earth
  • Efficiently navigate the Teach the Earth Portal to find activities that fit their needs
  • Develop strategies for contributing activities that achieve positive reviews

To get the most out of this mini-workshop, bring an idea for an activity that you might contribute to Teach the Earth. We will be doing an activity to get you started on contributing your own "Exemplary" activity.


0:00: Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Kyle and Jen
  • Think about your own situation...
    • How do your needs vary and change from course to course, semester to semester, or even day to day?
    • Have you ever been caught in a situation where you needed a meaningful lesson in a short amount of time?
    • Do you have activities that have worked well for you, that you would consider contributing to Teach the Earth?

0:05: Navigating Teach the Earth with activities for participants (30 minutes)

  • Browse Key Resources
    • Imagine you've been tasked with helping your department come up with ways to broaden participation or attract a more diverse student population. Spend a few minutes exploring the Key resources and see if you can find/learn one new thing...
    • Poll (~0:14) - Did you find what you needed in the short time you had?
  • Explore Themes
    • Think of a class you teach - you want to try a new active learning strategy or activity for a topic you teach. Use "Explore Themes" to find an activity you could use in the next few minutes.
    • Poll (~0:24) - Did you find an appropriate strategy or activity in the short time you had?
  • Search
    • Maybe you want to change your course, use the search box to find a course description that you might use as a model for modifying your course to be more active.
    • Poll (~0:34) - Did you find an appropriate syllabus or course description in the short time you had?

0:35: Debrief and Discussion (20 minutes)

  • Which of the three main ways of exploring the Teach the Earth portal did you find most intuitive?
  • What tools did you use to drill down?
  • What do you feel may have prevented you from finding what you wanted/needed?

0:55: Break w/ homework (30 minutes)

  • Participants practice navigating/break
  • Consider a class you teach regularly, especially one coming up in the Fall for which you might need an activity. Imagine you want to find an activity for a particular class period/topic that you will cover. Use the Teach the Earth portal and the techniques you learned to find an appropriate activity.
  • Take note of how you navigated: What was the path you took to get to the activity? Was it challenging or difficult to find something? What did you find and how easily could you implement it in your own course?

1:25: Discussion of results from your navigating experience (10 minutes)

1:35: Overview of the Activity Review Process (10 minutes)

1:45: Submission process with focus on submitting Exemplary Activities (35 minutes)

  • Poll (~1:45) - What would motivate you MOST to contribute your successful activities?
  • Submission form walk-through
  • Guidance sources for Goals, Assessments, Literacy
  • Future-proofing
  • Accessibility, Diversity and Inclusiveness
  • Participants will begin their own activity page and save it for future submission
    • Though it isn't necessary, if you want to come with an activity ready to start, consider having the following items handy:
      • Keys to a good activity are ADOPTABILITY and ADAPTABILITY
      • Activity Title, Audience, Learning Objectives, Assessment Strategies, and Teaching Tips

2:20: Q & A and Workshop Evaluation (10 minutes)

2:30: Adjourn