Teaching and Learning Activities: Re-thinking Geochemistry Education

Goldschmidt 2016IMG_20140608_110540

PACIFICO Yokohama Convention Complex, Japan

Sunday June 26, 2016

9:00am to 12:00pm


Students learn best when they actively manipulate course content, connect it to their own knowledge, and explain to each other concepts as they learn them. In the Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia (Canada), we are nearing the end of a 7-year project to transform teaching, IMG_20140608_094157the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative. Carl Wieman is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who has been focusing on improving Science education in recent years. The CWSEI has been very successful and in the Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science department and our courses have changed dramatically for the better.

One of the cornerstones of this transformation is the use of well-structured and relevant learning activities in our lectures ranging from short 5 minute exercises to integrated 50 minute problems implemented in classes with small (20 students) to large (>100 students) enrolments. These activities create strong connections between concepts addressed in class and in lab, allow students to practice vital skills, and result in a high level of engagement and discussion between students.

In this half-day workshop, you will experience a handful of our more successful activities as our students do, discuss how they are successful and how they could be modified for other courses, and begin to develop activities for your own classes. This workshop is targeted at senior graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, early career faculty, and anyone who wishes to reinvigorate their teaching.


Quotes from participants of the Goldschmidt 2014 workshop:

“I learned that the teacher need not always feel compelled to stand and lecture, that students can learn by themselves and have fun too.”

“Going through the activities myself helped me see how I would change things or what might be difficult for students.”

“MORE…I could do this all day.”


Workshop Registration:

¥8600 (student delegate) / ¥9600 (regular delegate)IMG_20140608_092325

Fee includes workshop materials as well as morning catering (coffee & light snacks).

The workshop may be booked through the Goldschmidt 2016 conference website alongside your registration.  All workshop places must be booked and paid in full by the registration deadline: May 26, 2016.

Please be aware that if the workshop does not receive sufficient attendance, the organizers may not be able to run it and any bookings will be refunded.


Presenter Bios:

ScoatesJames Scoates is Professor of Geology in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of British Columbia, where he has served on the faculty since 2002. He received his BScH from Queen’s University in 1987, his PhD from the University of Wyoming in 1994, and began his teaching career as a faculty member in geology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium (1995-2002). James has somehow ended up teaching 20 different courses over the past 20 years. Although initially a skeptic, his experience with the CWSEI over the past 5 years has resulted in application of active learning in all his undergraduate and graduate courses with successful implementation at professional short courses and geological field trips. In his spare time, his research interests are focused on the intersection of igneous petrology, geochemistry, and geochronology in unraveling the magmatic evolution of mafic layered intrusions and flood basalts and their associated magmatic ore deposits.


Hanano_EODiane Hanano completed her BScH (2004) in Geology & Oceanography and MSc (2008) in Geochemistry at the University of British Columbia. Her research focused on the origin and distribution of geochemical signatures in ocean island basalts and their relationship to large-scale dynamics in the deep mantle. After a brief stint as a consultant in the mineral exploration sector, she joined the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at UBC in 2011. Diane is responsible for project management, industry partnerships, public relations and outreach for the Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research (PCIGR), the Multidisciplinary Applied Geochemistry Network (MAGNET) and the Canadian office of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). In 2015, Diane had the incredible opportunity to sail as an Education Officer for IODP Expedition 354: Bengal Fan aboard the JOIDES Resolution.  She is also a massive Pearl Jam fan.


RhyRhy McMillan is a PhD Candidate at the Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research at the University of British Columbia (UBC). His research goals are to help archaeologists, palaeoanthropologists, and palaeontologists better describe and explain the relationships within and between assemblages of exhumed fossil bones and teeth. Rhy is also extremely interested in how we teach and how we learn. He has completed an Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) as well as a Facilitator Development Workshop (FDW) since arriving at UBC in 2014. He is currently appointed as a Graduate Facilitator at the UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, where he facilitates graduate ISWs and Teaching Assistant Training. Rhy won the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences Outstanding Teaching Assistant award for the 2014-2015 academic year. Most of all, he enjoys spreading his passion for science and teaching as well as his seemingly endless supply of energy to others, especially first thing in the morning when they least expect it.


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