The News Hour
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection
Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review 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: Jun 1, 2012
ACTIVE TECTONICS, SOCIETY, EARTHQUAKES, MEDIA
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Nowhere in the normal curriculum do we ever prepare our students for talking with the public in ways that can be easily understood. Experience and practice of this sort is especially useful given the stressful circumstances within which geoscientists in active tectonics/seismology/etc are called upon to respond to pressing questions.
Description and Teaching Materials
The commentators jumped right in and began asking questions. The experts drew upon their knowledge from reading as best they could, and often quite impressively. When the 20 minute session ended, we then did a retrospective, talking through what we had said, discussed what we had felt, what we would do differently, what we do the same, etc. To my astonishment the retrospective lasted 90 minutes. Both broad and specific lessons were learned.
The second time I taught Active Tectonics, I tried the same thing, in a larger class (25 students) and with two topics, one of which again was Hawaii, the other Salt Lake City and living on the Wasatch fault. In this instance I brought in a video camera and we 'filmed' the panels. Students were given an advanced 'heads up' in this case, and volunteered for roles. In the Wasatch exercise, one of the students chose to be an 'expert' on disabilities, and examined in advance the literature that deals with evacuation of men and women from nursing homes, hospitals, etc.
Teaching Notes and Tips
Have students get in touch with their own interests, skills, even passions in selecting their respective roles in the role playing.
I have not employed this as a graded exercise. However, I do gain an immediate sense of a students preparation and creativity.
References and Resources
This is a case where prescribed TV viewing is helpful. Furthermore, consider inviting to class professionals representing journalism and media arts. For university settings, faculty in Journalism are ideal. Alternatively, invite professionals (e.g., reporters, editors) from the local media.