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Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience > Interactive Lectures > Longer Activities
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Longer Activities

Longer interactive activities might take 15 minutes to an entire class period and are useful in engaging students in a lecture-based course. Such activities typically require time for the instructor to develop the materials and plan the activity, but once this investment is made the first time, it usually requires less preparation time in subsequent semesters. Extended activities are useful for getting students to use higher order thinking skills and tackle more complex problems. Additional time also makes it possible to engage in multi-stage cooperative learning activities that might have multiple learning goals. (link to cooperative learning module.)

Advantages of extended interactive activities

Types of longer activities you might consider

Longer activities provide an opportunity to have the students work on more complex problems and with data sets and to arrive at conclusions. Such activities include those in which

Steps and tips for using longer activities

(THIS IS A VERSION OF WHAT THEY HAD, BUT GIVEN WE HAVE AN EXTENSIVE HOW TO SECTION I AM NOT SURE THIS IS THE APPROPRIATE PLACE FOR THIS.)

In designing activities you will have to make some decisions

Examples of Longer Activities

map image from Discovering Plate Boundaries

Discovering Plate Boundaries (more info) , designed by Dale Sawyer at Rice University, is a data-rich activity using four global data maps that requires students to observe and classify data, present their results orally to other students, and results in students discovering the processes that occur at plate boundaries. His website provides detailed information about the activity, including downloadable maps showing earthquake location and depth, location of recent volcanic activity, seafloor ages, or topography and bathymetry, as well as a teacher's guide. Using the jigsaw structure, students work in different groups during the activity. This activity can be done in one or more class periods or a lab session.

For more examples, visit our collection of longer activities.


References and Further Reading

[Tewksbury, 1995] , Specific strategies for using the "jigsaw" technique for working in groups in non-lecture-based courses, Journal of Geological Education, v 43, p 322-326.

Discovering Plate Boundaries (more info) , an activity designed by Dale Sawyer, Rice University, with downloadable maps showing seafloor ages, topography, seismology, volcanology, or plate boundaries and a teacher's guide.
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