Rates and Time > Activity Posters > Learning Landscapes: RIVERS

Learning Landscapes: RIVERS

Christine Massey
,
University of Vermont
Author Profile

Summary

Learning Landscapes provides historic "geo-images" of Rivers and Slopes. Students work at their own pace through a series of on-line images with directed questions and expert answers for each image. Images stem in most part from the University of Vermont's Landscape Change Program archive. Preliminarily, we have found that students relate to local images of New England, use the site as a resource, relate image content to course field laboratories, and relate images to their previous knowledge.

Context

Audience:

undergraduate: entry level

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered:

None.

How the activity is situated in the course:

Supplemental, non-graded homework exercises that introduce river topics to be covered in class and laboratory.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity:

To visually learn using images. To learn about geomorphology of rivers with an emphasis on how rivers interact with landscapes and people.

Geologic skills:

Understanding river morphology.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity:

Image analysis and interpretation.

Other skills goals for this activity:

Description of the activity/assignment

Learning Landscapes provides historic "geo-images" of Rivers in Unit #1 and Slopes in Unit #2 (in progress). Students work at their own pace through a series of on-line images with directed questions and expert answers for each image. Images stem in most part from the University of Vermont's Landscape Change Program archive (uvm.edu/perkins/landscape).

The RIVERS unit uses five themes: the general importance of rivers ("Why Rivers?"), the shapes of rivers, how rivers convey materials, interactions of rivers with other Earth systems, and changes in river systems over time. Learning Landscapes uses predominantly historical imagery and introduces fluvial and geologic landscape change over several timescales. Rivers change seasonally, decadally, historically, and millenially.

Students engage in a pre-survey activity before viewing the main body of images, and a similar post-survey activity after each theme.

Preliminarily, we have found that students relate to local images of New England, use the site as a resource, relate image content to course field laboratories, and relate images to their previous knowledge.

Evaluation

We'd like to know how students learn about geomorphology using landscape images. Pertinent to this poster session is our section on "Changes" which deals with timescales of fluvial and geologic change in river systems.

We're in the process of assessing student learning with the following tools: Knowledge surveys, Attitude surveys, Pre/post content surveys, Taped interviews, and Student questionnaires.

Logistics

On-line modules that require internet access and an email address to register and log in.

A special course code is required for registration and log in. This can be obtained from Christine Massey or Paul Bierman, University of Vermont, christine.massey@uvm.edu or paul.bierman@uvm.edu. Instructors may use the course code "development" for previewing the RIVERS unit.

Poster Presentation

Learning Landscapes: RIVERS (PowerPoint 20.1MB Jan2 06)

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