Teaching Quantitative Skills in the Geosciences
Quantitative skills are an essential tool for both the geoscientist and the citizen. Helping students master skills ranging from simple arithmetic or graphing, to sophisticated use of equations and models is an integral aspect of teaching geoscience at the undergraduate level.
This website provides information on the issues involved in teaching quantitative literacy, reasoning, and skills and methods for doing so as well as additional resources and a community of other faculty who are all attempting this challenging task.
- Issues and Discussion: An overview of issues and a starting point for discussion. What do we mean by quantitative skills? Which skills are important? This section also includes links to commentaries, a reference list of related articles, and a discussion list where you can discuss your challenges in teaching quantitative skills.
Teaching Methods: Examples and discussion of teaching methods currently used to teach quantitative skills in the geosciences.This graphic shows the relationship between topographic profile and slope to make the concept of the derivative clear. Image from the Computational Geology column in the Journal of Geoscience Education, n. 5.
Teaching Resources: Classroom resources focusing on quantitative skills in a geoscience context, including activities, course descriptions, internet resources, and resources for students to use directly.
Teaching Quantitative Skills in Particular Settings: The kind of class and campus setting can pose particular challenges and opportunities for teaching quantitative skills.
Tools and Datasets: Data sets and the tools for working with them can be a good way to engage students' interest with real-world questions.
Community: There is a growing community of people who are interested in improving students' quantitative skills. And that community is larger than just geosciencetists. Join that community and find out about activities going on in this larger arena.
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- Interested in Creating the Best-in-class Curriculum Materials for Teaching Quantitative Research and Computational Skills to Geoscience Students?
MathWorks (makers of MATLAB®) and the Science Education Resource Center are partnering to develop and deliver a workshop focused on offering an opportunity for the leading practitioners in the field to participate and share their materials and ideas for teaching geoscience computation with MATLAB. Application deadline: August 28, 2015. For more information visit the workshop website