Geology 100, Geology in the Field
at Carleton College
Instructor: Cameron Davidson
Enrollment: 18 (3 minivans)
Challenges to using math in introductory geoscience
Most students took Calculus (typically AP Calc) in high school and appear to be relatively well-prepared to do math in my courses. Having said that, many need to be shown (or reminded) how to set up the problem, but once they have it, they have no problem doing the arithmetic including algebraic manipulations and dimensional analysis.
No departmental or institutional controls or obstacles on course content; we are free to do what we want.
TMYN increase skills? Perhaps. I look forward to see if the students find it useful.
More about your geoscience course
This is a Freshman seminar that is also acts as a gateway course to the major. We use TA's and they are expected to be able to do any and all the quantitative skills expected from the students in the class.
Inclusion of quantitative content pre-TMYN
Basic arithmetic and graph reading skills are used throughout the course. I rely on peer teaching to help students who struggle with quantitative problems, and typically use class time to "remind" students how to set-up certain problems (e.g. dimensional analysis). I need to do a better job assessing where students are at when they enter the course, and TMYN might be a good way to do this using a pre-test.
Which Math You Need Modules will/do you use in your course?
- Rearranging Equations
- Unit Conversions
Strategies for successfully implementing The Math You Need
1. I think I will begin my course by giving a pre-test using the existing test bank to see where my students are at with quantitative skills (graphing, rearranging equations, and perhaps a few select questions from some of the other modules). For those who need remediation/practice, I will direct them to the modules.
2. Stream lab. Requires students to calculate rates and convert units. I will have all my students use the "rates" and "unit conversion" modules immediately before lab to see if it helps. Doing the modules and assessment will count for part of the participation grade.
Reflections and Results
This section will be completed after the implentation