One and a half years after the Centre for Integrated Earth Science Education (iEarth) became a Centre of Excellence in Education (SFU) we see progress on many of the ambitions we set out in the project proposal and the action plan from 2020.
In the annual report for 2021 we are looking back on what happened as well as looking forward, revising some of our plans for further progress. iEarth is an innovation project and we therefore need to continuously revise our strategies for how to reach our long-term visions and goals. If you would like to read the full annual report from 2021, you find the attached document here.
Here are summarized our main activities in 2021:
We have established a "Task Force" working on curriculum redesign, focusing on developing a graph database and a mobile phone application that can be used in a pilot study for instructors and students.
We have been running the iEarth Research Group for almost a year and hired four (one vacant) PhD candidates and one Post Doc. The group is led by adjunct professor Anders Ahlberg, and their activities include bi-weekly digital meetings, a journal club and discussion forums.Running a digital research group is pioneering, and we are very proud of their progress.
We have five iEarth student organizations up and running with chapters at GEO-UiB, GFI-UiB, UiO, UiT and UNIS. Activities in the student chapter are course evaluations, GeOrakel, career day, PubLectures, student breakfasts and workshops.
We have launched a new web platform with new design and functionality. This is our main channel for dissemination both internally and externally. Here we have established a site for Educational Resources that is a shared resource for teaching and learning.
We have further developed our program for seed money with the goal of kick-starting teaching and learning development aligned with the visions and the action plan in iEarth. So far, we have funded 53 projects sponsored with between 20k and 50k.
We are currently running a pilot at the Department of Geoscience at UiO, where they have established a Section for Geoscience as a new strategic unit. This is a pilot and based on their experiences we hope to launch the concept at all institutions.
We have started a Leading Educational Change through SoTL-course together with bioCEED. In total, 19 course participants (11 from iEarth) have proposed seven novel projects investigating a variety of challenges in educational transformation. This includes studies on students as change agents, barriers to change among instructors, and focusing on in-network communication strategies.
We arranged together with CHESS a summer School on communication skills in outreach and teaching for PhD students. Here, students were exposed to challenges and solutions on efficient communication strategies in academic dissemination.
We arranged the fourth national GeoLearning Forum with over 100 participants. For two days we had keynote lectures, workshops and sharing sessions.
We have established a national internship course at UiT, UiB and UiO. The course is based on a pilot that has been arranged two times at UiT. In early November we arranged a national kick-off meeting for stakeholders, instructors and students involved in this program.
We have changed our organisational structure by adding a leader group constituted by the education chairs at each institution. This is a forum for decision-making in iEarth regarding budget, strategy constrain and for monitoring performance.
We got funding for a new HK-dir project lead by GFI-UiB with the title “Co-creation to promote active learning and communities of practice”. Here, co-creation and community of practice will be strategies used for changing the relationship between teachers and students. This will provide students with the best environment for learning during their studies.