Cutting Edge > Introductory Courses > Activities > Using the local topo maps 'Louisville East and West Quads'

Using local topo maps 'Louisville East and West Quads'

Mark F. Wood
,
Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) Louisville, Kentucky
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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
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This page first made public: May 15, 2008

Summary

This assignment is designed to test if the students have understood the past two preparatory assignments in introducing topographic maps. After two 'pre-lab' exercises and readings in what a topographic map is this map gives the student their hands-on experience in evaluating this information resource that is new to most of them.

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Context

Audience

undergraduate introductory physical geology course

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

basic map reading skills, map scale, landforms, contour lines, topography and basic geomorphic features, elevation, relief and height, gradient, basic coordinate systems, map symbols and map locating skills

How the activity is situated in the course

This is the culminating project in a three part series. The first two parts introduce the students to the above concepts, give them feedback, develop their knowledge level to the point they can complete this assignment largely on their own.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

basic map reading skills, map scale, landforms, contour lines, topography and basic geomorphic features, elevation, relief and height, gradient, basic coordinate systems, map symbols and map locating skills

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Visualization in 3D, synthesis of map reading skills and testing concepts using the scientific method.

Other skills goals for this activity

Working and cooperating in groups. (I largely try to stay out of this assignment and let the students help each other. This way I can see who really understands what they are doing. If they can teach another they've got it.)

Description of the activity/assignment

To prepare for this lab assignment the students read an article on topographic maps and their purpose. They have two assignments that test their understanding of this largely new material. I hold a discussion on maps and topography and the students work through some small contouring exercises.

Determining whether students have met the goals

The assignment is the assessment tool. By answering the questions the students demonstrate their understanding or lack of it. Later we discuss the assignment when I return it to them - then I give them a quiz and finally the exam.

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