Initial Publication Date: February 1, 2017

Opportunities at the Institutional Level

The core mission of all colleges and universities is providing a high quality education for their students. Your expertise as a geoscience education researcher can help support this mission. Your active participation university-wide committees will demonstrate your professionalism and bring recognition to GER across campus. While many of these are service-oriented, you may find the added benefit of connecting with like-minded faculty in other programs; such connections help expand your sense of community and may plant the seed for future interdisciplinary collaborations in SoTL or DBER.

Be an active participant in institutional committees that impact teaching and learning

For example, these include committees on assessment, curriculum, teaching/learning space, and educational technology or may be an review committee of other departments/institutions. If the committee involves data collection and analysis, promote the use of research-based methods. Use your knowledge to influence how space is designed for teaching purposes and what technology is adopted campus-wide.

Lead/co-lead workshops for campus faculty on teaching best practices and action research

If your campus has a center for teaching innovation, contact them and offer to teach a workshop on a topic of interest to faculty across many disciplines (e.g., teaching large classes, effective assessment, designing action research projects). Be explicit that the instruction and research approaches you are sharing in the workshop are grounded in research and cite those studies.

Support the training of K-12 teachers in STEM

Depending on your position, this may expected as part of you regular responsibilities. If so, you may be teaching methods courses or disciplinary courses for pre-service teacher. In them be sure to be transparent in your teaching decisions and methods. Model and discuss why you use the curriculum and instruction that you do, and refer students to the relevant published literature. If you are not directly involved in teaching courses specifically designed for pre-service teachers, chances are you have those majors in your general education courses. Let them know you do research in teaching and learning and that you are willing to be a resource for them if they have questions or need suggestions on activity and lesson design for their practicums.

Recommend geoscience education researchers for campus-wide teaching and learning seminars or workshops

If you institution has a campus-wide speaker or workshops series on teaching and learning, nominate experts in GER to these programs. Keep in mind that the guest speaker/facilitator needs to be able to connect with a broad audience of non-geoscience faculty. Think about leaders in the GER community that are able to situate their work and the work of others in the national landscape of undergraduate teaching and learning.

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