The goal of the Geoscience Affective Research NETwork project is to better understand what our student experiences are in our introductory geology classes and how we can attempt to improve their attitudes and motivations toward learning.


In February 2007 a group of 40 geoscience educators, cognitive psychologists, and learning educators participated in the NSF funded "Workshop on Student Motivations and Attitudes: The Role of the Affective Domain in Geoscience Learning" at Carleton College.

A major conclusion of that workshop was that the geoscience community needs more information about the role of student motivations and attitudes – the affective domain -- in student learning.

Subsequently, more than a dozen workshop participants agreed to take part in a multiyear, NSF-funded study (GARNET I; DUE-0914404) to investigate the variation and changes in student attitudes and motivation across a broad regional and demographic spectrum of introductory geology classes. Results of that project indicate some important relationships between instructional practices, student attitudes and motivations, and learning gains.

Current Status

We have recently been awarded a CCLI Phase 2, Expansion NSF Grant (DUE-1022917) to continue the work from GARNET I. The second phase of the project (GARNET II) aims to refine our understanding of the role of student affect in student learning, and to extend that research to a broader demographic and institutional base. We invite other introductory geology instructors from community colleges and four-year colleges and universities to join GARNET II.

For any questions, please contact head P.I., David McConnell (david_mcconnell at ncsu.edu)

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