August 27, 2014

Getting students to read the syllabus with a Syllabus Quiz

Getting students to read the syllabus with a Syllabus Quiz

We spend much time writing a syllabus, including all the required information by our universities… and yet, we struggle getting the students to read our masterpiece! Perhaps a syllabus quiz can motivate our students to learn about our courses from Day 1.

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August 20, 2014

Before you set a hashtag for your course or have students blog, think FERPA

Before you set a hashtag for your course or have students blog, think FERPA

Are you going to require that your students post on a public blog this semester?  Will you be creating a Facebook page for your class and asking students to post on it?  Will you have students post selfies on Twitter with a course hashtag?  For those instructors that use social media with their students and courses, this could be the most important tweet you read all year:   Is your …

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August 13, 2014

Setting a technology policy for your classroom? Ask students for input

Setting a technology policy for your classroom? Ask students for input

Devising a policy on technology in the classroom? Ask your students, David Gooblar writes in @chroniclevitae. http://t.co/O2DBAMudN1 — Chronicle (@chronicle) January 23, 2014 For those of us heading back to the classroom this fall, we are thinking about what to do in our classes, and how to keep our students engaged during the 50 minutes we have them three times week – and by “engaged,” I mean keeping students connected …

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August 6, 2014

Graphic syllabus and outcomes map – new additions to your fall syllabus?

Graphic syllabus and outcomes map - new additions to your fall syllabus?

Graphic syllabus = a one-page diagram, flowchart, or concept map of the topical organization of a course. Outcomes map = a one-page flowchart of the sequence of student learning objectives and outcomes from the foundational through the mediating to the ultimate. –  Nilson (2007) Each semester, and for every course we teach, we are required to create a course syllabus.  Each of our institutions have some variations as to what …

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July 30, 2014

Backtrack to… fossils on the auction block

Backtrack to... fossils on the auction block

Every once in awhile, I come across something (a tweet, an email, etc.) that reminds me of an article I read or conference presentation I heard that I want to go back and revisit.  Recently, my memory was triggered by this press release from AGI: In 2006, a fossil collector and his crew discovered a rare fossil on private land in Montana’s Hell Creek Formation: the bones of two fully …

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July 23, 2014

Updating how we teach the process of science

Updating how we teach the process of science

This week, I’m with a group of in-service middle school teachers for a week-long workshop on climate science.  It is always inspiring to connect with K-12 teachers to see and hear about their passion for their classrooms and for teaching – and always frustrating to hear that they have to do so with so few resources that include outdated textbooks.  And in those outdated textbooks we will find the “scientific …

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July 16, 2014

Summer reading on teaching – and Teaching Naked

Summer reading on teaching - and Teaching Naked

“I firmly believe that if every teaching faculty member could carve out the time to read one or two great books on teaching and learning every year, we would collectively serve our students much better than we do already.”  –  James Lang (Top 10 Books on Teaching, June 11, 2014) I think it is safe to say that each of us are challenged to find time to read a book …

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July 10, 2014

Promoting our Discipline with Geology Selfies – from Mauna Loa to Mars

Promoting our Discipline with Geology Selfies - from Mauna Loa to Mars

We like posting photos online, especially if we have a happy moment to share.  A recent study shows that photo posts on Twitter and Instagram are four times more likely to convey positive sentiment compared with text-only tweets (see The Wall Street Journal article by Wells, 2014).  And what could make us more happy than taking photos of ourselves and immediately sharing what we are up to? Welcome to the …

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July 1, 2014

Kickstarter – the future of funding geoscience research and education?

Kickstarter - the future of funding geoscience research and education?

Crowdsourcing, the process of seeking assistance for work or funds from a large group of people (typically online), seems to be quite popular these days (note that this blog post will focus specifically on crowdsourcing funds).  From getting funds to film the documentary Bridegroom to translating Moby Dick into Japanese emoji icons (now in the Library of Congress), it is amazing to see the range of ideas and innovations that …

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June 25, 2014

Backtrack to… Geology Terminology

Backtrack to... Geology Terminology

Every once in awhile, I come across something (a tweet, an email, etc.) that reminds me of an article I read or conference presentation I heard that I want to go back and revisit.  Recently, my memory was triggered by this tweet: Americans hear & use the term #globalwarming more than #climatehange More differences in here: http://t.co/8HaeDsnR7x pic.twitter.com/pDBPeGJUqj — Yale Climate Project (@YaleClimateComm) May 28, 2014 Our findings strongly suggest …

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