Just as there is no simple system for evaluating the quality of faculty research, there is no simple system for evaluating the quality of faculty teaching. However, by thinking carefully about the purposes of evaluation, and by crafting multiple methods of evaluation that suit those purposes, one can devise evaluation systems that are reliable, valid, and fair. Equally important, the process of discussing and crafting evaluation systems focuses attention on the practice of good teaching and helps to create a culture in which teaching is highly valued. Read more »


The articles in this section offer research findings that explore the value of out-of-class experiences for a variety of educational outcomes. Suggestions are provided for how institutions can enhance students’ out-of-class learning.

Informal Education and Learning

Discussion of the definition of informal education and its foundations.

Student Learning Outside the Classroom: Transcending Artificial Boundaries

Summary of the research on the contributions of out-of-class experiences to valued outcomes of postsecondary education. In addition, out-of-class experiences linked to persistence and educational attainment also are discussed.



Columbia Earthscape (Columbia University)

The site offers a searchable database: Columbia earthscape, a comprehensive aggregation of resources in the Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Virtual Geoscience Library (University of Michigan)

Journal of Geoscience Education

The page is the home of the Journal of Geoscience Education (JGE), a peer-reviewed publication for geoscience education research at the undergraduate and pre-college levels.

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Many instructors consciously avoid controversial issues in the classroom because of the difficulty involved in managing heated discussions. However, controversy can be a useful, powerful, and memorable tool to promote learning. Research has demonstrated that conflict or controversy during classroom discussion can promote cognitive gains in complex reasoning, integrated thinking, and decision-making. The links in this section offer guidance for how instructors can successfully manage discussions on controversial topics.

Making the Most of Hot Moments in the Classroom (CRLT)

CRLT developed this brief handout to offer instructors ways to make the most of "hot moments" as learning opportunities. It includes specific strategies to prepare for, respond to, and follow up after eruptions of tension or conflict in the classroom. 

Managing Hot Moments in the Classroom (Warren, 2000)

The challenges of dealing with “hot moments” are 1) to manage ourselves so as to make them useful and 2) to find the teaching opportunities to help students learn in and from the moment. This resource suggests tips for instructors faced with hot moments in the classroom. Read more »