Creating an Online Learning Environment about Geoscience Careers and Licensure

Wednesday 1:30pm-4:00pm E Building 217
Afternoon Mini Workshop


Craig Nichol, University of British Columbia Okanagan


Student recruitment, retention and diversity can be improved by providing students with timely information on careers in earth science and related fields, and information on professional licensing requirements.

A self-directed learning management system (LMS) course open to all program majors represents an opportunity for rapidly deploying a resource for students. It can provide a program with a centralized mechanism to connect all students in a program using existing institutional resources. It can help build student and faculty buy-in for more formal integration of careers information and skills throughout a program curriculum, or in dedicated courses within a program. These types of approaches may require resources and planning over the longer term.

Key considerations in creating a self-paced resource are to balance sufficient information for students to be useful, while not overloading students with too much information. Students should engage in activities or reflections exercises that help them assess their own learning, or act to incentivize them to continue to engage with the resource over their degree. The creation and maintenance of the resource should also not be onerous on the department or faculty member supporting the resource.

This workshop aims to help participants develop a plan to implement an LMS resource for students at their institution.  Workshop participants will be encouraged to share the resulting LMS course templates as open resources for others to adopt and adapt.


By the end of this workshop,

  1. Participants will co-develop a set of learning outcomes for a self-paced learning management system course about careers and licensure.
  2. Participants will workshop resources and potential assessment / student incentive methods for each learning outcome.
  3. Each participant will prepare a project plan for developing a learning management system course at their institution.


1:30 – 1:40 – Introductions and Ice breakers

1:40 – 1:50 – Workshop goals

1:50 - 2:40 – Learning outcomes for self-directed careers course – Group Discussion and Gallery Tour

2:40 to 2:50 - BREAK

2:50 to 3:20 – Collecting Useful Resources and Designing Assessments / Student Incentives: Small working groups

3:20 to 3:45 – Individual Work time for action planning

3:45 Wrap up and Workshop Evaluation

4:00 Adjourn

Pre-Workshop Preparation

  • Participants are encouraged to seek out international, national, state, local and institutional resources that can be incorporated into an LMS course format prior to the workshop. Shared page to collect web resources. Examples might include web links to professional associations, licensure bodies, careers resources, alumni videos etc.
  • Participants should consider creating a blank course shell in their institution's learning management system prior to the workshop so they can begin to implement the workshop outcomes.


Shared page to collect web resources. This links to an external file.  Please us this link to contribute suggestions for resources that can be posted to an LMS system.

Viskupic et al 2022. A  mixed  methods  study  of  the  challenges  for  geoscience  majors  in  identifying  potential  careers  and  the  benefits  of  a  career  awareness  and  planning  course.  Journal  of  Geoscience  education. DOI: 10.1080/10899995.2022.2147383

Carter et al. 2021. Highlighting altruism in geoscience careers aligns with diverse US student ideals better than emphasizing working outdoors. Nature Communications Earth & Environment