Poster Session III: Geoscience Education Research

Friday 11:15-11:45am PT / 12:15-12:45pm MT / 1:15-1:45pm CT / 2:15-2:45pm ET Online
Poster Session

Session Chair

Tara Holland, Simon Fraser University

This poster session will be held from 11:15-11:45am PT / 12:15-12:45pm MT / 1:15-1:45pm CT / 2:15-2:45pm ET on Friday. All Rendezvous participants are invited to attend. Sessions will include 4-6 posters on similar topics and will start with presentation of a 1-minute lightning talk for each poster, followed by panel discussions among authors and Rendezvous participants to address common themes. Zoom sessions will allow authors to move into Breakout Rooms for more specific discussions with Rendezvous participants.

Presenter Guidelines

Geoscience Education Research

Employer Perceptions of Career Training and Disability in the Geosciences
Megan Brown, Northern Illinois University
Ashley Barry, Northern Illinois University
Parker Porter-Mareth, Northern Illinois University

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Geoscience's field based culture can provide a barrier for students, especially students with disabilities. Field coursework is required in many geoscience programs and is met by completing a four to eight week field camp. Many students have little to no alternative option as accessible field trips and courses are very limited. Increasing inclusion of disability in the university is only one part of the solution. Recent science bachelor's degree recipients in the United States (without disabilities) have an unemployment rate of approximately 6% while the rate for graduates with disabilities is 15%. In this study, we survey geoscience professionals who are associated with hiring at their place of employment. Survey participants were from a variety of employment sectors, but most participants work in consulting or industry. Our online survey first examined the skills and field experience that employers desire in new graduates. Then, participants answered questions related to their perceptions on disability.Preliminary data indicate that jobs are more likely to be accessible to people with moderate physical disabilities and hearing impairment/deafness, while few employers felt that there were accessible positions for individuals with visual impairment/blindness and intellectual disabilities. Most employers were open to hiring geologists who had not taken a field course; however, most desired students to have at four to six credit hours of field coursework. In addition, only 5% of respondents did not require manual labor or field work of their geologists. Work is needed to increase accessibility in university geoscience departments; however, accessible employment is also essential in order to increase inclusion within our discipline.
Revising the Teacher Beliefs Interview for Post-Secondary Instructors
Doug Czajka, Utah Valley University
LeeAnna Chapman, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Katherine Ryker, University of South Carolina-Columbia

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Teaching beliefs represent a set of understandings that influence what instruction looks like in practice. They are difficult to elicit and individuals may have limited vocabulary to explain why they teach the way they do. Few instruments have been developed to capture teaching beliefs. Luft and Roehrig (2007) developed the Teacher Beliefs Interview (TBI) in order to elicit the teaching beliefs of secondary science teachers. The TBI includes seven open-ended questions with coding rubrics that position responses into one of five categories: traditional, instructive, transitional, responsive, and reform-based. Traditional and instructive categories are considered teacher-centered, while responsive and reform-based categories are student-centered. Student-centered responses indicate a view of science instruction as teaching "a dynamic field that is subject to revision" (Luft & Roehrig, 2007; p. 42).We collected and coded more than 160 TBI interviews with post-secondary instructors. While coding these interviews, we noticed that this population frequently differs in how they respond to the seven TBI questions. This results in difficulties reliably coding responses, even among experienced TBI users. To address this, we re-analyzed 95 interviews conducted with post-secondary instructors using the original TBI rubrics. Initial Cronbach's alpha per question ranged from .609 to .905. Disagreements between reviewers were discussed to evaluate whether the source of disagreement was in the response, the coder, or the rubric. Exemplar quotes from agreed upon responses were collected. These discussions and exemplar responses using language from post-secondary instructors were incorporated into revised coding rubrics for each question. The authors then coded four randomly drawn interviews with the original and revised rubrics. The revised rubric improved reliability for experienced raters as measured using an intraclass correlation coefficient (.555 to .724). The revised TBI rubric can more reliably evaluate the teaching beliefs of post-secondary instructors, while maintaining the intent of the original rubric.
Measuring Student Improvement in Climate Literacy in a First-Year Interdisciplinary Climate Change Course
Tara Holland, Simon Fraser University
Gabi Trainor, Simon Fraser University

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Despite scientific consensus that anthropogenic global climate change poses severe risks to human and natural systems, many young Canadian adults do not view it as a major issue. Climate literacy is generally accepted to be competence or knowledge in the area of climate change, its impacts, and solutions. Research indicates that in order to improve climate literacy, the social sciences must be more fully integrated with the biophysical basis of climate change. An interdisciplinary science/social science first year undergraduate course in climate change was developed in 2017, with the main educational goals focused on improving climate literacy. This course attracts students with a wide range of climate change knowledge from across the university.This research investigates the effectiveness of the course in improving students' climate literacy. To measure learning gains, a validated climate change concept inventory was administered pre- and post the course, for 3 offerings in 2020 (n=103 students). The final assignment in the course, a learning portfolio, was used as evidence of which assignments students felt most impacted their learning in the course: Students' choices of which assignments to include and a written reflection were analyzed with regard to climate literacy indicators. The survey analysis identified six common misconceptions that students hold when entering the course, and showed improvement in student understanding of those concepts after taking the course. Students reported that the most valuable course components for improving their understanding were lectures and brief, weekly engagement activities that challenged them to apply their knowledge to solve a problem or address a question. Thematic analysis of the learning portfolios indicated that students' climate literacy was improved through both physical and social science-based assignments.These results suggest that an interdisciplinary approach to teaching climate change is effective in terms of correcting climate change misconceptions and improving overall climate literacy.
Promoting equity in graduate geoscience departments through the AGU Bridge Program
Eva Kostyu, American Geophysical Union
Pranoti M. Asher, Pranoti M. Asher

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Gaps between undergraduate and graduate degrees attained by minoritized student populations exist across the physical sciences, including the geosciences. The AGU Bridge Program, as a member of the larger Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN), seeks to close this gap in degree attainment with intentional, equity-focused programming for both students and institutions. The AGU Bridge Program currently partners with thirty-one geoscience departments throughout the United States to create an inclusive network of graduate departments with a focus on holistic admissions practices, graduate student retention and success, and inclusive mentoring. Through IGEN, interested student applicants can apply to be considered for admission into AGU Bridge Partner departments graduate programs. Once admitted, the success of Bridge Fellows is fostered through a network of peers, resources, and support from AGU and Fellows' respective departments. Interested graduate geoscience departments can apply from June-October each year and student applications open each fall. This presentation will share updates on the impact and status of the AGU Bridge Program.