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Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience > Models > How to Use Models
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How to Use Models

In thinking about how to incorporate modeling activities into introductory geoscience courses, there are two important classes of considerations: technical and pedagogical.

Technical Considerations include:

These technical considerations are clarified under our discussions related to each specific type of model.

Pedagogical Considerations

There are several things to keep in mind when using or creating modeling activities for instruction.

Modeling Methodology for Physics Teachers (more info) (1998) provides general guidelines for using models in physics instruction that are quite applicable to geoscience instruction, particularly in Box 2 of Hestenes' document. Box 7 of Modeling Methodology for Physics Teachers (more info) (1998) outlines important aspects of the model construction process.

Other Resources

It is important that the learning environment and activities created around a model provide an interactive engagement experience. Try to avoid passive modeling activities where students simply watch a model simulation or animation without having to think or do anything.


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