On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Undergraduate Research as Teaching Practice
Montana State University- Bozeman, MT
Cutting Edge > Undergraduate Research > 2014 Workshop > Activities > Library Research Lab: Does the Ozone Hole cause Global Warming?

Library Research Lab: Does the Ozone Hole cause Global Warming?

Carsten Braun, Westfield State University
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This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process.

This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.


This page first made public: Aug 8, 2014

Summary

In this lab activity students get to investigate a specific question (Does the Ozone Hole cause Global Warming?) and formalize their investigation as a briefing paper for the President of the United States. This activity is easily modified for other questions and thus usable in many different circumstances.

Context

Audience

First-Year students, typically undeclared or non-science majors. I use this activity in my Introduction to Physical Geography course as the very first lab activity at the start of each semester.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

The students should have all the necessary skills (research, word processing) from high school.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is the very first lab exercise in my class and for many students the first deliverable they ever hand-in for a grade in college.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

After completing this activity students will be able to:

  1. conduct academic research using the library and online sources.
  2. prepare a professional briefing paper as instructed.
  3. find and properly include relevant figures and photographs.
  4. prepare a professional annotated bibliography.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Information Literacy - finding and using reliable sources of information in the library and on the web.

Other skills goals for this activity

  1. Understand that the ozone hole does NOT cause global warming.
  2. Get introduced to the library and its resources.
  3. Follow instructions and deliver a professional product on-time.
  4. Create a proper annotated bibliography.

Description and Teaching Materials

This is a 4-page Google Doc hand-out:

Presidential Briefing Paper Activity (Acrobat (PDF) 246kB Aug8 14)

Google Doc @ https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Jfo_my3v0uQDegXkGXhNrm3KFkAANoSjwcPlM6DCr0s/edit?usp=sharing

Google Presentation @ https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1TY6YqBAd9cZFnPj8wduLCBBU2dDqsldTtVZdIcR9K88/edit?usp=sharing

Teaching Notes and Tips

I use this lab activity in-conjunction with a library information session where our instructional librarians introduce the students to the resources provided by the library and how to find reliable information on the web. The question (Does the ozone hole cause global warming?) serves as a framework and specific goal.

As this is (for many) their first graded assignment in college I allow for revision and re-submission without penalty.

Assessment

The grading sheet is included as Page 4.

References and Resources

Resources and links are included as Page 3.

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