My students are high school students.  Do you want them to complete



[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Scott Clark
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 1:47 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Research on Plate Tectonics Figures


Dear Colleague:

We are interested in studying how well plate tectonic figures commonly
used in geology courses communicate the main concepts of plate tectonics
to novices. We would like to investigate if students can identify where
melting occurs, appreciate the pseudo-steady-state conditions inherent
to many plate tectonic illustrations, and reason through how the image
would look in the past and in the future. We will compare responses of
non-majors who have been exposed to the theory of plate tectonics, Earth
Science majors, graduate students, college faculty, high school
teachers, and other experts along an expert - novice continuum. 

To help us validate our questionnaire, we are sending this email to ask
for reviews and comments as to the appropriateness and effectiveness of
our questions at addressing student understanding. We are also looking
for college faculty, high school teachers, or other experts who would be
interested in completing the questionnaires as participants in our

All comments can be emailed to [log in to unmask]

If you would like to participate in the study, please print out and
complete the demographic survey and one of the three questionnaires. You
will need to mail your completed questionnaire and survey to Scott Clark

Scott Clark
206 Natural Sciences Bldg.
Department of Geological Sciences  
Michigan State University  
East Lansing, MI 48824 

All participation will be kept strictly confidential, and all responses
will remain anonymous. By completing the questionnaire, you are agreeing
that your responses can be used in publications and presentations
related to this research. To facilitate anonymity and encourage
participation, responses will be de-identified by a staff member of the
Center for Research on College Science Teaching and Learning (CRCSTL) at
Michigan State University before the research team views the results. We
estimate that the questionnaire will take about 15 minutes to complete.
This project has received IRB approval for use of human subjects in

Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions for this
project. We look forward to working with you and appreciate your


Scott Clark, Research Associate
Department of Geological Sciences  
Michigan State University  
East Lansing, MI 48824  
[EMAIL: [log in to unmask]]  
[phone (517) 353-4524]  

Julie Libarkin, Assistant Professor  
Department of Geological Sciences & Division of Science and Mathematics
Michigan State University  
[EMAIL: [log in to unmask]]  
[phone (517) 355-8369]