On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Teaching Structural Geology in the 21st Century
Smith College, Northampton MA
Cutting Edge > Structural Geology > 2004 Workshop > Long demo set #3

Long Demonstrations, Set #3

Session #4 (Tuesday 10:30) , repeated in Session #8 (Friday 8:30)

L3A: Potpourri on Assessment (Michael Williams, University of Massachusetts, Amherst). Developing meaningful examinations in lecture and lab is one of the most challenging aspects of teaching structural geology. The goals are to provide a measure of learning, add to comprehension, and build confidence. However, time pressure especially when solving complex map problems can result in frustration or discouragement. This session will be an open discussion of various approaches and strategies. Please bring examples, ideas, and frustrations.

L3B: Designing Effective Peer Teaching (Jigsaw) Activities for Structural Geology (Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College). The jigsaw technique is a fabulous and very versatile technique for designing classroom, lab, and field activities that promote self-teaching, peer-teaching, and discussion among students. This session will offer specific instruction on how to design jigsaw assignments effectively, how to make jigsaw assignments work in classroom, lab, and field settings, and how to plan jigsaw assignments that don't take up any more classroom time than lecturing on the same topic.

L3C: Mentally Visualizing Large Geologic Structures from Field Observations (Kim Kastens and Toru Ishikawa, Columbia University). Thinking about a structure in three dimensions, based on limited observations available in the field, is an important skill required for structural geologists, but many students have difficulty with it. To examine how people develop this skill, we are conducting an experimental study using "artificial outcrops." Participants in this session will walk through a mock-up of our experimental set-up, and then compare their approaches to the problem, as experienced structural geologists, with the approaches of the novice participants in our study. We will also discuss the relevant cognitive science literature, with a particular focus on underlying spatial abilities.

L3D: Using Interactive Visualizations to Prepare Students for the Field (Steve Reynolds, Arizona State University). We have created many interactive QuickTime Virtual Reality movies with the specific goal of helping students improve their abilities in the 3D aspects of geology. In Structural Geology, we do exercises that begin with teaching students to visualize and locate points on topographic maps, then help them see the internal structure of interactive geologic blocks and how planes intersect topography, and finish with having them map inclined and folded layers from 3D perspectives and geologic maps draped over digital topography. We have found these materials greatly help students in later field studies – they can find themselves on topographic maps, understand the geometry of exposed layers, and are not timid about drawing contacts they observe in the field.

L3E: Composite session on writing in structural geology courses, with the following 5 short presentations: