Improving Teaching and Learning
Part of the InTeGrate Savannah State University Program Model
Impact on Teaching and Learning
Garnering support for the infusion of geoscience principles across multiple disciplines can be an awe-inspiring challenge but by having previous knowledge and interaction with colleagues within other colleges on campus, the leadership team was able to strategically approach faculty members that were interested in the idea but felt that they needed training in the geosciences to build that component of their knowledge base. Having access to the InTeGrate materials that were sorted by one of the leaders (Morris) in a way that was manageable considering the structure of our university helped to decode the overall module and course resources. Thus, for us to impact courses housed in multiple silos of our campus given our abbreviated timeline, we relied upon a strong network with open communication to bring clarity and usability of the materials to the willing participants. By making the seemingly overwhelming amount of InTeGrate resources available to our team in a filtered manner, we were able to accomplish most of the teaching and learning goals (modified program course, new course offering in the college, and infusion of service learning projects) of the CHARTing program as well as some unexpected outcomes that included use of InTeGrate materials in other courses that were not targeted as part of our initial proposal. Presumably, the aforementioned approaches helped to make the time for team members to delve into the materials more deeply.
There has been broader infusion of geosciences into the undergraduate learning experience at Savannah State. More specifically, many students outside of the geoscience majors that we have, Environmental Science and Marine Science, gained broader and deeper infusion of geoscience-based educational opportunities as a result of this program. This has been done with no increases in educational expenses directly to the students or University
Structured and unstructured indications from students and team members in the project provide clear indication that this is something that is important to them and should be further developed.
Lessons learned and materials used will serve as a foundation for 2 new projects, one in the education and professional development of pre- and in-service teachers, respectively and another in the geoscience educational training of students being trained in emergency response. Both of these new projects are in the developmental stages with expected tangible development in the next 6-8 months.
Supporting Faculty Change
Although not all faculty attended webinars, all of the team members were present for the majority of the team meetings in which we shared modules or components of modules. Additionally, many of them independently perused the materials and that encouraged them to try out the materials in courses that were not originally within the scope of impact of this IP. Having one of the leaders (Jolvan Morris) develop a table of course/college-related materials seemed to make the modules more approachable for broader use. Lastly, we distributed announcements of webinar opportunities and while that did not bring new members to the team, there were informal inquiries about the project and the materials as well as two developing relationships that should lead to two new projects within Teacher Education and another within Emergency Response training for undergraduates.