Research on Geoscience Learning_TUE_1000_shellito

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  • Session description: Conducting research on the process of learning geoscience can be illuminating and rewarding, leading to improvements in geoscience teaching. Yet most of us are trained in geoscience research, rather than educational research practices. This session will explore how to begin a program of educational research, focusing on the similarities to and differences from geoscience research.
  • Research on Geoscience Learning_TUE_1000_shellito

    1. 1. Karen M. Kortz, Community College of Rhode Island Cindy Shellito, University of Northern Colorado With help previously from Carol Ormand, SERC, Carleton College Tuesday, July 30, 2013 Strategies for Research and Scholarship
    2. 2.  Karen Kortz, Community College of Rhode Island Who we are  Cindy Shellito, University of Northern Colorado
    3. 3.  What is research on learning?  Why conduct research on learning?  How does research on learning compare to traditional geoscience research?  How does one get started conducting research on learning? At the end, you will brainstorm a small research project you can implement next semester. We are planning to talk about:
    4. 4.  What is research on geoscience learning?
    5. 5.  Geoscience education research:  Identify and understand learning in geoscience  Determine how learning is brought about  Geoscience education includes:  Geoscience content  Social science  Pedagogy (teaching methods)
    6. 6.  Curriculum and Instruction research:  The links between classroom experiences and learning  Application of research to developing and implementing new educational tools or materials to enhance learning
    7. 7.  Geocognition research:  The cognitive processes underpinning perception, understanding, learning  Other factors that influence learning, such as:  Metacognition  Affective domain  Place-based learning
    8. 8.  Investigating the role of illustrations and animations in learning  Determining the effects of spatial visualization skills  Developing and assessing strategic earth science teacher preparation  Tracing the novice-expert continuum from pre-college to professional geoscientists
    9. 9.  Developing instruments to assess student learning  Measuring the effectiveness of teaching strategies  Investigating the connection between the affective domain and learning  Determining causes of misconceptions
    10. 10.  To explore the fascinating realm of human learning  To become a better teacher  To level the playing field  E.g. Figure out how to help strugglers thrive  E.g. Increasing representation of women and minorities in STEM disciplines  Your reasons?
    11. 11.  How is research on learning similar to and different from traditional geoscience research?
    12. 12.  Working to answer significant and interesting questions  Testing multiple working hypotheses  Collecting data via observations  Interpreting large, incomplete data sets (sometimes using statistical analyses)  Exploring causal relationships within a complex system, inferring process and cause from observed behaviors
    13. 13.  Collaborate with scientists in other fields  Data only good if instrument is calibrated/valid and reliable  Better if you collaborate  Test hypotheses with experiments  Qualitative vs. quantitative
    14. 14.  Human subjects!  IRB (Institutional Review Board): your ethical watchdog  So many possible confounding factors….  Your classroom is your laboratory  How you collect data  Instruments used  Attitude of other faculty/administrators
    15. 15.  Identify a question that intrigues you: what do you want to know about the learning process?  Watch your students:  Where do they struggle?  Why are they struggling?  Who is struggling? With what?
    16. 16.  Do your homework: find out what has been done and who is currently working on similar questions  Read the science education literature (e.g. Journal of Geoscience Education)  Go to research on learning sessions at conferences  Join the geoscience education research interest email list (run by Julie Libarkin)  Read successful educational research proposals
    17. 17.  Funding:  Can you do a pilot study without funding?  If not, how much funding do you need to collect preliminary data (to convince people that your idea is worth pursuing further)?
    18. 18.  Expertise:  Do you have the expertise you need, or will you need to find or recruit collaborators? ▪ From Education? ▪ From Psychology? ▪ From other science departments? ▪ From other institutions?  Is there someone on your campus (in your department, even) who has submitted a proposal to your IRB?
    19. 19.  Topics  Student understanding (pre/post; comparing different teaching approaches, assignments…)  Student attitudes (preference, motivation…)  Initial conceptions, prior to instruction  Tools  Graded assignments (exams, quizzes, homework…)  Questionnaire  Geoscience Concept Inventory (GCI) and other valid and reliable instruments Quick Ideas for a Small Research Project
    20. 20.  Spend a few minutes coming up with a small research project you can implement next semester.  What question do you want to answer?  What methods will you use to answer your question?  How will you collect data? Quick Ideas for a Small Research Project

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