Community College of Rhode Island
Karen Kortz has been teaching introductory geoscience courses at the Community College of Rhode Island for over 10 years. She has a passion for teaching, as evidence by receiving several teaching awards from her school and the Biggs Award for Excellence in Earth Science Teaching in 2008. Karen's research field is geoscience education research, and she is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Geoscience Education. Karen is also passionate about sharing research findings about effective teaching. She has lead multiple workshops, has authored the books Lecture Tutorials for Geoscience and Lecture Tutorials for Earth Science, and is currently working on an introductory geology textbook. Karen was nominated to be a GSA Fellow in 2014. For a full cv, please visit her webpage http://faculty.ccri.edu/kkortz/index.shtml.
Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects
VEPP: Determining the relationship between the summit and Pu'u 'O'o on Kilauea part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Volcano Exploration Project: Pu`u `O`o:Examples
This is an exercise that is in development and will not be fully tested until Fall 2010. Please check back regularly for updates and changes. Brief three-line description of the activity or assignment and its strengths: Students first learn about several volcanic monitoring techniques. Given three hypotheses on the movement of magma in the plumbing between the summit and Pu'u 'Ō'ō on Kilauea, students make predictions about what they would expect to see for each hypothesis in the data. They then analyze the data and test each hypothesis. Full length description: In this activity, students learn, using a balloon experiment and sketches, how the monitoring techniques of ground tilt and ground motion (using GPS) illustrate magma chamber inflation and deflation. Students also are briefly introduced to the varying composition of basalt lava. Three hypotheses about the movement of magma between the Kilauea summit and Pu'u 'Ō'ō are given to the students. For each hypothesis, students make predictions about what they would expect to see with each monitoring technique. After making predictions, students are given handouts with the data from each technique, they analyze the data to evaluate each hypothesis, and they make a conclusion about the movement of magma beneath Kilauea.
Flood Curves Lecture Tutorial part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:Lecture Tutorials:Examples
Students work in pairs on this worksheet in class after a short introductory lecture on how water reaches streams. Questions begin by addressing infiltration and the effect of surface runoff vs. groundwater flow on flooding. Students then progress to examine how humans change the amount of infiltration, and students must determine how the severity of floods can change as a result.
Groundwater Consulting Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are given a real-world scenario in this lab exercise in which they must determine the extent of groundwater contamination while staying within a budget. They progressively request more information and summarize their findings on a map.
Ocean Crust Ages Lecture Tutorial part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:Lecture Tutorials:Examples
This assignment is done by pairs of students in class after a short introductory lecture on divergent boundaries. Students work through the worksheet as it guides them towards more conceptually-difficult questions based on a map of the ocean crust ages of the Atlantic Ocean. Students confront their misconceptions and come away with a more scientifically-correct understanding of the pattern of ages of the ocean crust.
Geoscience education research project part of Cutting Edge:Undergraduate Research:2014 Workshop:Activities
Students complete a scientific research project including asking a question, developing methods, collecting data, analyzing and interpreting data, and communicating results. The research question begins "What do other students think about _____" and students fill in the blank with a topic that interests them from the class. Although it is geoscience education research, it involves students in the process of science while learning about a topic of their choosing, making it an effective learning tool for all students.
Seafloor Ages Lecture Tutorial part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students work on this Lecture Tutorial worksheet on seafloor ages in pairs during lecture. It directly confronts misconceptions students have about the age of the seafloor, and it guides students to more complex thinking about the topic.
Earth's Surface Features Lecture Tutorial part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:Lecture Tutorials:Examples
Students work in pairs on this worksheet and strengthen their background knowledge by identifying different features in photographs of Earth's surface. Then to build on this base, the students determine the key processes that form each of the features. To address a common misconception, students read a debate between two hypothetical students and determine which student is stating the scientifically correct idea. The activity is summarized by a question posed about the features on a hypothetical planet.
Rock Types on Other Planets Lecture Tutorial part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:Lecture Tutorials:Examples
Students work in pairs to complete this short worksheet strengthening their background knowledge of rock formation. After a brief set of questions about the rock types, students are given the geologic conditions found on different planets. Students must then predict the presence of the three different rock types on each planet.
The Function of Stegosaurus Plates Lecture Tutorial part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:Lecture Tutorials:Examples
This short assignment is designed for students to work in pairs after a brief lecture introducing the general topics of dinosaurs or hypotheses, or the more specific topic of Stegosaurus. Using the example of Stegosaurus plates, students learn how scientists make hypotheses about the functions of features on extinct life forms. The Lecture Tutorial can also be used in a general sense to help students understand the use of evidence in forming and evaluating hypotheses. They use the observations given to determine which hypothesis is most likely.
Introduction to Physical Geology part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Courses
This course is an introduction to physical geology, with an emphasis on plate tectonics and the environmental and natural disaster aspects of the subject. It is designed for non-science majors who are meeting their science requirement. It uses many interactive techniques during lecture.
Teaching Method Module
Lecture Tutorials part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:Lecture Tutorials
Developed by Karen M. Kortz, Community College of Rhode Island and Jessica J. Smay, San Jose City College What Are Lecture Tutorials? Lecture Tutorials are short worksheets that students complete in class to make ...
Techniques I Use to Help My Students Think About Their Learning part of SAGE 2YC:Supporting Student Success:Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges:Essays
A lifelong skill is for students to think about their learning, or be metacognitive about it. Although metacognition ties directly to student success, it is often not taught, and it is a skill that many two-year college students lack. One of my goals is to purposefully structure my courses to help students focus on and be more aware of their own learning.
Other Contributions (3)
Undergraduate Research in Geoscience at Community College of Rhode Island part of SAGE 2YC:Supporting Student Success:Undergraduate Research with 2YC Students:Profiles
Information for this profile was provided by Karen Kortz, Physics. Departmental/Institutional Context The Community College of Rhode Island is a large community college (about 18,000 students) and the only one in ...
Career Profile: Karen Kortz part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Workshop Leader Profiles:Career Profiles
Physics Department, Community College of Rhode Island The Community College of Rhode Island is a 2-year college. Karen Kortz is one of the leaders of the 2014 "Early Career Geoscience Faculty" Workshop. ...
Historical Geology Reconstruction Analogy part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:First Day of Class:Activities
Karen Kortz, Community College of Rhode Island Course: Introduction to Historical Geology 20 students Students remember what they have seen and done much better than they remember what you have told them. The ...
Events and Communities
Early Career Workshop 2012: Leader
Early Career Workshop 2013: Presenter