Teach the Earth > Quantitative Skills > Community > Workshop 2004 > Workshop Output

Final Session Discussions

On the last day of the workshop, participants reflected on their answers to some guiding questions.

What makes a good project?

  • Things that are transferable (for students)
  • Projects are adaptable (for faculty) and will give insight into what is important, people will scan them both for specifics and for ideas on what they might scan.
  • Projects are aimed at appropriate level, give guidance without giving answers, and are challenging.
  • Motivate/engage students (relevant, interesting to students, would excite students).
  • Demonstrate a fundamental concept (repetition for students to see again and again).
  • Demonstrate a fundamental skill (including technology e.g, spreadsheet, MatLab).
  • Real world problems, real data.
  • Tackle different quantitative/mathematical skills within same assignment.
  • Have been tested/used before.
  • Link back to what they've learned before, link forward to what they will do later/in the future, use terminology similar to what students have learned before (the challenge is that these activities are situated in courses where it builds on what has been done before).
  • Give ideas on what skills and/or knowledge is important in the field.

What makes the project usable for other faculty (template/tips)?

  • Template should be simple, attractive, grabs the viewer (as in the first paragraph of a proposal).
  • Knowing the activity has been used before (e.g, info about tips about use as in a pre-activity assignment).
  • Level of difficulty is included in teaching tips or context ("Students struggle here" or "This is really easy").
  • Can we get reviews back ? (use what is available from TSG, get reviews from the community, DLESE community review system)
  • Having the assignment in a form that can be distributed to students (with or without adaptations).
  • Have a simulator to generate numbers or where to go to get data.
  • Having links and materials on how to use the technology (MatLab, Excel, etc).
  • Some of this background helps (e.g, when teaching a new topic, might sit in on a course).
  • Being able to find things (searchable, also the title is important). When you look at the section at the bottom or the example template, the listing of the quantitative skills is not that helpful. Make it easy to know what level of mathematics (simple algebra, etc) and what earth science content are addressed.