On the Cutting Edge: Workshops, Online Resources, and Community Development

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 8:30 AM
Heather Macdonald, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, United States, Cathryn A Manduca, Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College, Northfield, MN, United States, David W Mogk, Montana State Univ, Bozeman, MT, United States, Barbara J Tewksbury, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY, United States, Sean Fox, Carleton College, Northfield, MN, United States, Ellen A R Iverson, Carleton College, SERC, Northfield, MN, United States, Rachel J Beane, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME, United States, David A Mcconnell, North Carolina State University at Raleigh, Raleigh, NC, United States, Katryn Wiese, City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States and Michael Edward Wysession, Washington Univ, Saint Louis, MO, United States
On the Cutting Edge, funded by NSF since 2002, offers a comprehensive professional development program for geoscience faculty. The program includes an annual integrated in-person and virtual workshop series, has developed an extensive collection of peer-reviewed instructional activities and related online resources, and supports continuing community development through sponsorship of webinars, listservs, opportunities for community contributions, and dissemination of resources to keep faculty current in their science and pedagogic practices. On the Cutting Edge (CE) has offered more than 100 face-to-face and virtual workshops, webinars, journal clubs, and other events to more than 3000 participants. The award-winning website has more than 5000 pages including 47 modules on career management, pedagogy, and geoscience topics. It has more than 1800 instructional activities contributed by the community, the majority of which have been peer-reviewed. The website had more than one million visitors last year. We have worked to support a community in which faculty improve their teaching by designing courses using research-based methods to foster higher-order thinking, incorporate geoscience data, and address cognitive and affective aspects of learning as well as a community in which faculty are comfortable and successful in managing their careers. The program addresses the needs of faculty in all career stages at the full spectrum of institutions and covering the breadth of the geoscience curriculum. We select timely and compelling topics that attract different groups of participants. CE workshops are interactive, model best pedagogical practices, emphasize participant learning, provide opportunities for participants to share their knowledge and experience, provide high-quality resources, give participants time to reflect and to develop action plans, and help transform their ideas about teaching. On the Cutting Edge has had an impact on teaching based on data from national surveys, interview and classroom observation studies, and website usage. The Cutting Edge program is now part of the NAGT professional development program that includes face-to-face, traveling, and virtual workshops for faculty and geoscience programs of all types.