What Students Want to Learn
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.
Course: Earth Resources
The ActivityFollowing the viewing of the video "Geology: Why Bother," I hand out index cards and ask each student to write down
- their name (including nickname)
- hometown (used to divide groups geographically into small sub-groups for a later out-of-class project assignment)
- major (used to create diverse small subgroups to work on out-of-class project assignment), and
- one or two things about earth resources that they would like to see covered during the semester.
I group these items into common themes and incorporate the topics into a day-by-day course outline which I then hand out the second day of class. In this way, I hope to create a sense of ownership in the course on the part of the students - in that we would be emphasizing topics that they had selected. The course is the second semester of the required geology sequence for non-majors and anything that can get students to invest part of themselves into this course helps generate class discussion and interest.