Cutting Edge > Petrology > Teaching Activities > Using Dynamic Digital Maps to Teach Petrology

Using Dynamic Digital Maps to Teach Petrology

Christopher D. Condit
,
UMass-Amherst

This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection

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  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
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This page first made public: Jun 5, 2008

Summary

In this session we will examine how to utilize Dynamic Digital Maps (DDMs) in undergraduate petrology courses to bring inaccessible and exciting volcanic field areas to the students in the classroom and to engage the students in authentic research experiences. A DDM is a stand-alone "presentation manager" computer program that contains interactive maps, analytical data, digital images and movies. They are essentially complete geologic maps in digital format, available on CD-ROM and on line.

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Context

Audience

This activity would be used in an undergraduate (sophomore or junior level) required course in petrology.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have a general idea of how to read a map and how to use a computer.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is a stand-alone exercise.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

Students will use this computer program that contains interactive maps, analytical data, digital images and movies to explore geologic maps in digital format

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

In this session we will examine how to utilize Dynamic Digital Maps (DDMs) in undergraduate petrology courses to bring inaccessible and exciting volcanic field areas to the students in the classroom and to engage the students in authentic research experiences. A DDM is a stand-alone "presentation manager" computer program that contains interactive maps, analytical data, digital images and movies. They are essentially complete geologic maps in digital format, available on CD-ROM and on line. We have developed two different kinds of exercises that use DDMs to provide field-based context for undergraduate research projects in petrology. In one, the students use the DDM of the Tatara-San Pedro volcanic complex of the Andes Mountains of central Chile to develop a group research poster on part of the volcano's evolution, to present to the class, modeled after what would be presented at a national meeting. The second exercise focuses on the Springville Volcanic field, where the students try to understand the magma evolution using both field relations and quantitative modeling skills.


Read a complete description of how dynamic digital maps work, with more ideas for the classroom. (from Teaching with Data, Simulations and Models)

Determining whether students have met the goals

Several exercises are attached (see below) - successful completion of these exercises shows that students have met the goals of this exercise.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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