Katherine Ryker

Geography and Geology

University of South Carolina-Columbia

I am an Assistant Professor of Geoscience Education at the University of South Carolina, and serve as the Vice President for the NAGT Geoscience Education Research division (Vice President: 2017-present; Secretary: 2014-2017). 

 

My primary research interests revolve around 1) interventions in introductory geoscience classes (especially labs) to improve cognitive and affective learning goals, and 2) teaching professional development (faculty, graduate teaching assistants and pre- and in-service teachers). This includes exploring connections between reformed teaching practices, student learning, teaching beliefs, and the implementation of inquiry-based geoscience labs. Other specific topics I am interested in include the use of augmented and virtual reality in geoscience programs and how teachers develop their beliefs and identities over time.

I am always open to establishing new collaborations! Please let me know if you're interested in tackling a question together.

Workshop Participant, Webinar Participant, Website Contributor, Reviewer

Website Content Contributions

Activities (3)

Implementing the Geoscience Education Research Project as a Poster in Intro Courses part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2018:Program:Share-a-Thon:Share-a-Thon Presentations
Students complete a scientific research project including asking a question, developing methods, collecting data, analyzing and interpreting data, and communicating results as described by Karen M. Kortz here: ...

Using the Paleobiology Database to explore tectonic events part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2017:Program:Teaching Demonstrations:Friday B
In this teaching demonstration, we will model a student activity we developed utilizing the Paleobiology Database's (PBDB's) user-friendly "Navigator" interface. The activity has students to ...

The Pangea Puzzle part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2017:Program:Teaching Demonstrations:Friday B
Students learn how to use the Paleobiology Database (PBDB) to produce maps of fossils on the present day Earth's surface, as well as past continental configurations. They do this by mapping the occurrence of ...

Conference Presentations (8)

Friday Session B part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2017:Program:Teaching Demonstrations:Friday B
Friday Session B Your Account Earth Educators' RendezvousAlbuquerque, NM July 17-21, ...

Changing the Science Teaching Beliefs of Pre-service Teachers part of Rendezvous 2015:Program:Abstracts
The science teaching beliefs of pre-service teachers play a profound role in impacting the way in which science content is taught (Bleicher, 2010; Joseph 2010). In this study, we examine the way in which ...

Evaluating and revising the inquiry level of physical geology labs and assessing the impact on student academic performance. part of Rendezvous 2015:Program:Abstracts
The introductory physical geology labs taught at North Carolina State University were reformatted in 2009 to include more inquiry-based activities and utilize local geologic resources. After several years of ...

Quantifying the Effects of Discipline-Based Professional Development Programs on Undergraduate Geoscience Teaching part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2018:Program:Oral Sessions:Thursday A
We investigated the impact of geoscience-specific professional development (PD) on undergraduate teaching by comparing instructor PD histories and classroom practices. Trained observers used the Reformed Teaching ...

Reformed teaching in geoscience classrooms: How engaged are our students and what can we do to engage them more? part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2017:Program:Oral Sessions:Wednesday B
A team of trained observers made direct observations of 204 unique geoscience classes across the US using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP). Observed classes were taught by faculty of diverse ...

Incorporating an Augmented Reality Sandbox in an Online Geology Course part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Oral Sessions:Wednesday B
Learning in the geosciences requires students to use spatial thinking, including tasks such as making and interpreting geologic and topographic maps (Kastens and Ishikawa, 2006). The ability to think critically ...

A Longitudinal Study of Science Teaching Efficacy and Math Anxiety in Pre-Service Teachers part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Oral Sessions:Monday A
Negative attitudes of elementary teachers towards science and math have been well documented for several decades, a combination which impacts how science content is taught (Bleicher, 2001; Joseph, 2010), and ...

Utilizing the Paleobiology Database to Provide Hands-On Research Opportunities for Undergraduates part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Poster Sessions:Thursday
Numerous studies indicate that student participation in undergraduate research experiences can result in increased recruitment and retention of science majors. Many undergraduate students' only exposure to ...

Other Contributions (10)

Research on Cognitive Domain in Geoscience Learning: Temporal and Spatial Reasoning part of NAGT:Geoscience Education Research:Community Framework for GER:Cognitive - Spatial and Temporal Reasoning
Download a pdf of this chapterKatherine Ryker, University of South Carolina and Allison J. Jaeger, Temple University. With contributions from: Scott Brande, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Mariana Guereque, ...

Virtual Brownbags to Expand a Community of Practice part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Morning Workshops:GER:Idea Papers
Katherine Ryker, Eastern Michigan University I am involved in four inter-institutional GER research groups. I was a little surprised when I counted them out! While a couple people are in two of the groups, most ...

The Role of the GER Division in Promoting a Community of Practice part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Morning Workshops:GER:Idea Papers
President Nicole LaDue, Northern Illinois University; Vice President Todd Ellis, Western Michigan University; Treasurer Kim Cheek, University of North Florida; Secretary Katherine Ryker, Eastern Michigan ...

Teacher Preparation, Professional Development and Policy Issues part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Oral Sessions:Monday A

Supporting TA Success in your Classes part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2018:Program:Roundtable Discussions
A 2016 survey of geoscience faculty across US institutions revealed that GTAs serve in a wide variety of instructional roles and perform a myriad of important tasks such as leading labs, grading papers, and holding ...

Strengthening TA Teaching Capacity part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2017:Program:Roundtable Discussions
Teaching Assistants (TAs) play a major role in undergraduate instruction, and their teaching practices and beliefs influence student learning. Nonetheless, TAs often begin their positions with little to no teaching ...

Online Teaching part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Panel Discussions
Summary Online resources make up a steadily increasing share of the materials used to support student learning in geoscience courses. No longer do online resources represent copies of class notes and links to a ...

How to Increase the Level of Inquiry in your Lab Activities part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Afternoon Mini Workshops
Inquiry: easy to say we use in teaching, harder to prove! Inquiry learning parallels the process of scientific inquiry, and focuses on the students' role in asking and investigating scientific questions. ...

Geoscience Education Research part of Rendezvous 2015:Program:Poster Sessions
Related Monday Oral Session with discussion @ 4:00pm Related Tuesday Oral Session with discussion @ 4:00pm

Geoscience Education Research II part of Rendezvous 2015:Program:Oral Sessions
See Related Poster Session

Communities

Member of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers
Southeastern Section, Geoscience Education Research Division

Workshop Participant (17 workshops)

Webinar Participant (4 webinars)