Teaching Chaos and Complex Evolutionary Systems Theories at the Introductory Level
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Mar 31, 2010
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
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Description of the activity/assignment
The courses include a general education class dealing with the Earth and its environments (GGEOL 102: Environment: Earth), the historical geology class for majors (GEOL 230, Evolution of the Earth), another general education course dedicated to evolutionary systems of all kinds (GEOL 200, Evolutionary Systems), and, a new course in the environmental science minor (ENVT 200 - Environmental Systems Theory) In all of the courses we demonstrate concepts with algorithms using computer based simulations where possible. In the evolutionary systems and environmental systems classes there are frequent breakouts to do computer lab experiments.
Chaos/complex systems concepts in the historical geology class are developed in one fell swoop near the beginning of the semester, while in the others courses concepts are introduced in steps throughout the semester, exactly how and in what depth depends on the subject matter and course level.
Determining whether students have met the goalsMore information about assessment tools and techniques.
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment (Acrobat (PDF) 18kB Mar26 10)
- Instructors Notes (Acrobat (PDF) 128kB Mar26 10)