Initial Publication Date: January 24, 2022

Module Development and Review Process

The urban and environmental geophysics modules developed by the IGUaNA project are designed with the goal of attracting and engaging students, especially from underrepresented groups, by applying geophysics to societally relevant problems. To ensure that the materials meet the standards in the project's guiding principles, we followed a rigorous materials development and review process.

Module Development Rubric

We developed the IGUaNA module development rubric (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 31kB Jan20 22) at the beginning of the project so that module authors would know the criteria the materials need to meet. The elements are largely drawn from the GETSI rubric, which was in turn based on the InTeGrate rubric. This rubric is designed to guide IGUaNA curriculum developers as they develop modules to support student understanding of the applications of geophysics to societally relevant problems or questions. The rubric incorporates evidence-based practices in curriculum development and science education in support of the goals of the IGUaNA project. Module materials are evaluated with respect to these criteria:

  1. Guiding principles are addressed explicitly and/or pervasively. 
  2. Learning goals and outcomes are clear, measurable, and appropriate for undergraduates, and there must be guidance for how students will meet the goals. 
  3. Assessments measure the learning goals, are criterion referenced, and are aligned with the module activities and resources. The sequence and pace of the assessments must match the content. Where appropriate, assessments progress from fundamental cognitive tasks to higher order thinking. 
  4. Resources and materials are aligned with the learning goals, and provide sufficient depth for students to achieve those goals. If specific technology is required, that is stated explicitly. All learning materials, software and learning resources are properly cited and conform to copyright law. 
  5. Instructional strategies are aligned with the learning goals; activities scaffold learning. Learning strategies and activities promote student engagement, develop student metacognition and self-efficacy, and provide opportunities for students to practice communicating geoscience. 

Each curricular module is evaluated using this rubric prior to publication, and must meet the criteria in order to be published.

Module Testing and Review Process

Internal review

All members of the project team reviewed the curricular materials multiple times during the development process, using the rubric as a guide. In addition, some module authors piloted each other's modules and provided feedback based on their experiences teaching with the materials.

Pilot testing

Beginning in the fall of 2020, several instructors piloted the introductory modules, and the project team collected survey data from instructors and students to refine the instructional materials. From fall 2020 through fall 2021, with the approval of our IRB, we collected feedback from six instructors - each at a different institution - and from their students. This feedback was anonymized and shared with the module authors, who used it to revise the curricular materials. 

Final review

Following revisions based on pilot testing, the project team completed a final rubric-based review of the materials. All published materials passed this review.