Initial Publication Date: June 22, 2015

Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) and Geoscience

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
12:00 PM Eastern | 11:00 AM Central | 10:00 AM Mountain | 9:00 AM Pacific

Webinar leaders: Kim Kastens (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University) and David Mogk (Montana State University)

Registration for this event is closed. A recording of the webinar will be posted after it has occurred.

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Webinar Takeaways

  • What is Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) and background on the NRC DBER Study Committee?
  • What has DBER found that is common across the sciences and engineering?
  • What are key aspects of Geo-DBER? A brief history and key areas of focus.
  • What are some future research directions for Geo-DBER?

Webinar Products

Download the presentation slides (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 11MB Jul1 15).

Watch the Screencast.

Webinar Description

"Discipline-based education research (DBER)" is a relatively new label for investigations of teaching and learning that are deeply informed by knowledge of the concepts, practices, habits of mind, and priorities of an academic field, in our case Geosciences. In 2010-2012, the National Research Council convened a study group of DBER scholars from various disciplines; your webinar leaders, Dave Mogk and Kim Kastens, represented geoscience education research. Working with colleagues in astronomy-DBER, biology-DBER, chemistry-DBER, engineering-DBER, physics-DBER, and cognitive/learning science, we found that there were commonalities in DBER approaches and findings, but also important differences.

All branches of DBER share the goals of understanding how people learn STEM concepts, practices and ways of thinking; how STEM expertise develops; and how STEM education can become broader and more inclusive. In the area of conceptual understanding and conceptual change, all the DBERs find that undergraduates have incorrect ideas and beliefs about fundamental concepts, and that specific instructional strategies can promote conceptual change. In all STEM domains, students are challenged by problem-solving and by domain-specific representations, like graphs, models, and simulations. A robust finding across all DBERs is that involving students actively in the learning process can enhance learning more effectively than lecturing.

GeoDBER is one of the youngest of the DBER disciplines, and as such has a relatively smaller number of practitioners and smaller research base. However, geo-DBER has taken a leadership position on some topics and approaches that are characteristic of our field. These include teaching and learning in the field; temporal, spatial, and systems thinking; and teaching and learning with large datasets. In addition, geoDBER has a very strong track record in bringing research to practice. While our colleagues in the other DBER's bemoaned the lack of attention paid to DBER findings by their faculty colleagues, we in geoDBER were pleased to be able to report on the reach of nationwide geo faculty professional development programs, such as On the Cutting Edge and InTeGrate, which feature research-tested pedagogical approaches.

Webinar Resources

National Research Council Committee on Discipline-based Education Research. (2012). Discipline-based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Kober, N. (2014). Reaching Students: What Research Says about Effective Instruction in Undergraduate Science and Engineering. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Mogk, D, Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering: Contributions and Opportunities for the Geosciences

Webinar Format

Online web presentation via Adobe Connect web conference software with questions and discussion. Participants will receive an email with instructions detailing how to log into the event after the registration period has closed. Participation requires an internet connected computer and a phone line. For additional information on the format, see the technology page.