did you know that you can send this to just one recipient instead of to the whole mailing list?

Paul Cammack
Senior Lecturer in Geography
School of Educational Partnership and Enterprise
Faculty of Education
University of Cumbria
Bowerham Road
From: GEOEDUCATION RESEARCH INTEREST GROUP [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Emma Farmer [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 05 March 2009 18:39
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Qualitative Research: GSA Special Paper Abstract soliciation

Hello Anthony,
I am really not sure if my manuscript is what you are looking for, but I
am submitting it to you in the hopes that you can give me some feedback
about whether it is appropriate for your special volume.  Below is my
abstract: yes, the paper mostly describes student surveys with
quantitative results, but the aspects they are self-reporting on are
qualitative in the sense that they are trying to measure their own
self-confidence on several tasks.  Any more specific feedback you can
give me about what you are looking for would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks very much,

Accelerating Student Learning About Climate Change
with Graded Debates Instead of Examinations
By E. Christa Farmer
Assistant Professor, Hofstra University Geology Department
156 Gittleson Hall, Hempstead, NY 11549-1140
phone: 516-463-5566; fax: 516-463-5120; email: [log in to unmask]
Submitted to Anthony Feig and Alison Stokes, editors, in response to
their Call for Papers for a Geological Society of America Special Paper
on “Qualitative Inquiry in Geoscience Education.”

Introductory college science courses often seem to overwhelm students
with an onslaught of information to be memorized.  In a special seminar
on climate change for first-year college students, I set out to help
students learn how to access, summarize, and evaluate scientific
information rather than simply memorize it.  I was hoping that this
approach of emphasizing higher-order skills in Bloom’s taxonomy of
cognitive development would give them tools for understanding new
scientific information that they could continue to utilize in their
lives whether they went on to study more science or (more typically)
not.  Inspired by a discussion with a colleague in the Political Science
department, I decided to set up a curriculum for my new course that
included graded classroom debates in conjunction with quantitative
problem sets.  The debate format included an individual written
assignment of a “position paper,” and tightly constrained roles for each
student in the classroom debate including two “Proponents” for each
side, five “Questioners,” one “Conciliator,” and two “Supporters” for
each side.

This adoption of graded debates as a collaborative learning exercise
instead of traditional individual written exams seems to have enhanced
student learning.  Pre- and post-course surveys about student confidence
in their ability to perform tasks involved in scientific inquiry
document significant increases in skills utilized in debates.  Skills
showing improvement include interpreting tables and graphs, extracting
main points from scientific articles, and determining valid scientific
evidence about climate change.  Students’ post-course survey responses
consistently identify group activities, including graded debates, as the
most effective course components.  As the instructor, I also observed
greater student engagement during class time than in similar
introductory classes in which students were given traditional individual
written exams.

E. Christa Farmer, Ph.D.
Hofstra University
Geology Department
145 Gittleson Hall
Hempstead, NY 11549
[log in to unmask]
>>> Anthony Feig <[log in to unmask]> 03/03/09 4:58 PM >>>
Greetings Friends,

I am writing to advise you all that contributors and manuscripts are
still being solicited for a GSA Special Papers volume titled,
"Qualitative Inquiry in Geoscience Education Research." This message
is to remind potential contributors that the deadline for abstract
submission to this volume is 28 March 2009.

We would love to have your abstract! This is a special opportunity for
the geoscience education community to participate in describing their
applications of qualitative methods to geoscience education/
geocognition research, as well as complete qualitative studies. This
volume will be the first of its kind, and we hope it will become a key
reference in the liteComplete information and instructions in PDF format can be downloaded


Best wishes,

Anthony D. Feig (Central Michigan University) and Alison Stokes
(University of Plymouth)

Anthony D. Feig
Assistant Professor of Geology & Science Education
Department of Geology
Central Michigan University
Mt. Pleasant MI 48859
[log in to unmask]
University of Cumbria is a Company Limited by Guarantee, Registered in England & Wales No. 06033238. Registered Office: University of Cumbria, Fusehill Street, Carlisle, CA1 2HH. Telephone 01228 616234.

Confidentiality: This email and its attachments are intended for the above named only and may be confidential. If they have come to you in error you must take no action based on them, nor must you copy or show them to anyone; please reply to this email and highlight the error.

Security Warning: Please note that this email has been created in the knowledge that Internet email is not a 100% secure communications medium. We advise that you understand and observe this lack of security when emailing us.

Viruses: Although we have taken steps to ensure that this email and attachments are free from any virus, we advise that in keeping with good computing practice the recipient should ensure they are actually virus free.