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Exemplary Teaching Activities

Beginning in 2011, On the Cutting Edge began a process to review the extensive collection of activities submitted by workshop participants and members of the geoscience community. The Review Processes page illuminates the details of the peer review process, and the activities are scored on 5 elements: scientific veracity; alignment of goals, activity, and assessment; pedagogical effectiveness; robustness; and completeness of the ActivitySheet. The activities that score very highly in these areas become part of the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection and are featured below. As of the fall of 2015, the entirety of the legacy activity collection has been reviewed. We are developing a process with NAGT by which new submissions can also get reviewed and be added to the reviewed collection.


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Plate Tectonics as Expressed in Geological Landforms and Events part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Jeff Ryan, University of South Florida-St. Petersburg
This activity seeks to have students analyze global data sets on earthquake and volcano distributions toward identifying major plate boundary types in different regions on the Earth. A secondary objective is to familiarize students with two publicly available resources for viewing and manipulating geologically-relevant geospatial data: Google Earth(TM) and GeoMapApp.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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The Pet Rock Project - Developing Professional Communication in a Petrology Course part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Professional Communications Projects:Examples
Darrell Henry, Professor of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Critical Review of a Journal Article: An Assessment Activity part of Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
In this exercise students do a formal review of a journal article using review criteria established for the Geological Society of America Bulletin or American Mineralogist. The quality of the students' ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Carbon Footprint Exercise part of Topics:Climate Change:Activities
Cinzia Cervato, Iowa State University
We designed a three-step assignment for students in introductory geoscience that asks them to calculate their carbon footprint during one specific week. The goal of the assignment is to increase student awareness ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Historical Earthquakes and Uplift/Subsidence of Sumatra from Coral Growth Rings -- Advanced Version part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Elisabeth Nadin, University of Alaska Fairbanks
In this lab, students will use data from real corals collected in Sumatra to track the sea-level and earthquake record of the region over the past century.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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A Geologic Safari of the East African Rift and the Newark Basin: Why these areas are more alike than you know part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Margaret Benoit, College of New Jersey, The
This activity explores the similarity and differences between the Newark Rift Basin and East African Rift.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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From Ocean Topography to Flexural Rigidity part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Andrew Newman, Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
Students will use the available bathymetric datasets to test the utility of a flexural rigidity model of oceanic crust.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Evaluating the Effects of Local Energy Resource Development part of Topics:Energy:Energy Activities
Devin Castendyk, SUNY College at Oneonta
This is a semester-long, jigsaw project for a class of 20 to 25 students that has students work in teams to explore the effects of energy resource development on local water resources, economics and society.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Energy Gallery Walk part of Topics:Energy:Energy Activities
Katharine Ellis, Front Range Community College
This is a cooperative learning activity using the Gallery Walk Strategy (strategy from the Starting Point Gallery Walk web pages) to enrich student understanding of the complex nature of solving our nation's ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Creature Features - Showcase of Living Fossils part of Courses:Paleontology:Activities
David Sunderlin, Lafayette College
This activity connects the fossil record to biodiversity in the Recent by having students present on a "living fossil" group. The exercise is useful in demonstrating evolutionary stasis, reminding ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
Learn more about this review process.