Home » Faculty to Develop ‘Tools We Can Use’ in the Outdoor Classroom Workshop

Faculty to Develop ‘Tools We Can Use’ in the Outdoor Classroom Workshop

Faculty to Develop ‘Tools We Can Use’ in the Outdoor Classroom Workshop January 26, 2010

“I think this will be a very pragmatic, ‘give us tools that we can use’ type of workshop,” said Lawrence University geology professor Jeff Clark in summing up the Outdoor Classroom II, a workshop that will bring together faculty in the field sciences to share and develop field-based teaching activities that utilize mobile computing technology.

“I’d like participants to come to the workshop with an activity,” Clark continued, “and when they leave, the activity (they brought) is strengthened and they have two more activities in their briefcase that they’re excited about” using with their students.

The Outdoor Classroom II: Curricular Innovations in Mobile Computing for the Field Sciences will be held on June 25-27, 2010 at Lawrence University’s Bjorklunden Vid Sjon conference facility, located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Door County, Wisconsin. The workshop, open to faculty at ACM colleges, is supported by funding from the ACM Faculty and Career Enhancement (FaCE) Project and the NITLE Instructional Innovation Fund. The registration deadline is February 15.

Students in the field during one of Jeff Clark’s courses at Lawrence University.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Clark

Clark and workshop co-organizer Sue Swanson, a geology professor at Beloit College, are putting the emphasis on faculty working – both within and across disciplines – to develop curricular materials, and then to disseminate the materials through the workshop website. They’ve structured the program to include breakout sessions in which faculty will provide feedback on each other’s teaching activities and lab exercises, and then further refine the activities.

Ideally, said Clark, the workshop will attract faculty from a variety of field sciences, such as geology, environmental science, biology, and archaeology. “People will work within their disciplinary group for about half the time, and then work in a group that’s not in their discipline, so you bring in really outside, fresh eyes,” said Clark. “I think approaching it from both angles and providing both kinds of feedback will be advantageous.”

The final step, said Clark, will be for participants to post their teaching activities and lab exercises – either during the workshop or soon after – on the Outdoor Classroom website hosted by the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College. ACM is working with SERC to disseminate the results of FaCE Project activities to a wide audience of educators.

This workshop builds on last year’s Outdoor Classroom I workshop, also organized by Clark and Swanson, which focused on the types of mobile digital technology available and ways that faculty could use the technology in field-based courses. Faculty are welcome at the Outdoor Classroom II, whether or not they attended the previous workshop.

For more information and to register for the Outdoor Classroom II, visit the workshop website. The registration deadline is February 15, 2010.

The ACM Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) Project is supported by generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Share this page