Developing Student Understanding of Complex Systems in the Geosciences
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Resources for Teaching About Complex Systems
- What constitutes a complex system? describes several defining characteristics of complex systems in detail, supplemented by several alternative definitions of complexity.
- The Earth and Mind blog has many posts related to systems thinking.
- There are many promising pedagogical approaches to teaching about complex systems, including
- Using computer models to teach complex systems,
- Combining an inquiry-based approach with multiple representations of complex systems, and
- Using a role-playing approach to coupled natural and human systems.
- Assessing student understanding of complex systems is challenging. It begins with formulating learning goals for your students, then choosing appropriate assessment tools for evaluating those goals.
- Teaching activities for the classroom and lab, contributed by faculty members in the geosciences and beyond
- Courses with a focus on complex systems, contributed by faculty members in the geosciences and beyond
- Assessments of student understanding of complex systems, contributed by faculty members in the geosciences and beyond
- Visualizations: graphics, animations, and videos
- Recommended readings: a selected set of readings on teaching about complex systems, modeling complex systems, and complex systems research
- References: a broad collection of books, journal articles, and other references about complex systems in the geosciences or about teaching complex systems thinking
- Do you have a resource (teaching activity, course, visualization, reference, or other) to recommend? Please share a resource.
We also held a workshop at the fall AGU meeting in 2010 on Teaching About Complex Systems Using the STELLA Modeling Software. See the workshop program page for presentations and examples.