ADDRESSING OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES IN EVALUATION AND

DISSEMINATION THROUGH CREATION OF A NATIONAL LIBRARY FOR

UNDERGRADUATE SCIENCE EDUCATION

 

 

David W. Mogk

Dept. of Earth Sciences

Montana State University

Bozeman, Montana 59717

 

Lee I,. Zia*

Division of Undergraduate Education

National Science Foundation

4201 Wilson Blvd.

Arlington, Virginia 22230

* On leave from the Department of Mathematics, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824

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Abstract - To facilitate the dissemination of educational materials that have proven effective in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education, the National Science Foundation is exploring the establishment of a national library for undergraduate science education. The purpose of the library would be to function as an archive of tested materials and methods, as well as a dynamic resource for the active exchange of information. Attributes of the library would include editorial and review functions to provide the highest level of confidence in the quality of the materials; indexing, abstracting and linking services to ensure ease of access by users; mechanisms to actively encourage the development of new materials for broad dissemination; and electronic delivery systems to distribute these materials to the widest audience. Development of the library will require a sound management plan to implement these functions, and ultimately, the library must operate on a self-sustaining basis.

 

INTRODUCTION

The past three decades of innovation in undergraduate science, mathematics, engineering and technology (SMET) education have seen the development of a broad variety of resources- for faculty and students. Many of these are the result of funding from the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) of the National Science Foundation (NSF). For example. since 1990, DUE has provided $11.2 million in support of geoscience projects sponsored by the Course and Curriculum Development, Undergraduate Faculty Enhancement, and Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement programs (Program Announcement and Guidelines, NSF 96-10). Additional support has been provided for multidisciplinary projects, and to cognate disciplines (e.g. physical geography, civil engineering, etc.), which have a strong geoscience component. Other sponsoring organizations, both public and private, have also made significant investments in the development of educational resources in the geosciences. Many more resources have simply been developed through the efforts of dedicated individual faculty members working on their own time.

In many cases, these educational materials have taken the traditional form of textbooks. papers or journal articles. In addition, ideas and information resulting from faculty efforts have been presented and discussed through talks and other forums at conferences and workshops, though often not captured in permanent form, More recently, emerging educational technologies provide remarkable opportunities for new forms of materials and methodologies

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