Initial Publication Date: October 9, 2018

About this Project

Through the collaboration of cognitive psychologists, education researchers, and geoscience educators, the Geoscience Education Transdisciplinary Spatial Learning Network aims to develop educational tools that can help students, across classroom and field settings, to better understand and build upon historically difficult geoscience concepts. These educational tools will be developed as a result of interdisciplinary effort, with a focus on two spatial learning principles: Spatial feedback and spatial accommodation. Spatial feedback is feedback in the form of spatial information which will allow students to not only understand that they have made an error but will also provide guidance on how to correct or reduce the error. Spatial accommodation is the adjustment needed to accommodate mental models to feedback. This accommodation can be in the form of small adjustments to a mental model, significant reconstruction of an existing model, or creation of an entirely new model. These three cases may require different types of support, and the team aims to develop tools and approaches for the range of models. The findings of this research could ultimately improve retention and learning in geosciences, with broader implications to improve retention and learning for many other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) domains that require spatial thinking.

Read more about our project in our NSF proposal abstract.

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation, under grant award #1640800.

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