IEEE TCDL Bulletin
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TCDL Bulletin
Current 2005
Volume 2   Issue 1


Motivating and Supporting Faculty Use of Education Digital Libraries

An Example from the Geosciences

Cathy A. Manduca, Ellen R. Iverson, Sean Fox
Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College
{cmanduca, eiverson, sfox}

Flora McMartin


This poster summarized the results of a small focused study of geoscience faculty and how they use web resources to prepare for class. The study used an iteratively developed coding scheme of qualitative data from 8 structured interviews and 30 website walkthroughs as well as supporting data from a national survey of geoscience faculty (Macdonald et al, 2005).

We found that while many faculty have a general knowledge of teaching methods, they are most interested in the application of these methods to the specific topics they teach. They prefer to learn about teaching methods within such a context. Results also reflect that faculty colleagues play a critical role as sources for information about teaching and in validating the decisions faculty make about methodology and content. We noted that faculty work within two time scales as they prepare their courses: 1) designing the entire course and 2) preparing for a single class.

Using these results we designed the Starting Point website to allow for teaching examples searchable by geoscience topic and easily discoverable in Google. These teaching activities are intimately linked to pedagogic information which guides faculty from what they seek to what they need to know. Last we used web statistics to determine whether users behaved as expected. The two images show the two common types of paths through the site. In both cases users move between examples and information on pedagogic methods.

Thumbnail of a poster from JCDL 2005

For a larger view of Figure 1, click here.

Thumbnail of a poster from JCDL 2005

For a larger view of Figure 2, click here.


© Copyright 2005 Cathy A. Manduca, Ellen R. Iverson, Sean Fox and Flora McMartin
Some or all of these materials were previously published in the Proceedings of the 5th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital libraries, ACM 1-58113-876-8/05/0006.

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