Introduction to Hazard and Risk: Part 1

Tom Juster
University of South Florida, Tampa
Created: April 14, 2012

NOTE: certain slides were borrowed and modified from "Spreadsheet Warm Up for SSAC Geology of National Park Modules" by McGee, Lindsey, and Vacher

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Summary

In this Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum activity, students are introduced to the spreadsheet program Excel while preparing a risk assessment for Benton County, Oregon, based on the threat of a catastrophic earthquake along the Cascade subduction zone. This is the first in a sequence of two modules on this topic, and emphasizes basic Excel skills that will be needed in all subsequent activities. In the module students first are introduced to the idea of Excel formulas by creating a summary table of structures in Benton County (which is needed to compute the monetary exposure to risk). They then learn about built-in functions such as SUM, COUNT, and MAX. The final task requires the students to reprise these skills on a table of buildings classified by construction.

Learning Goals

Students will:

In the process the students will:

Context for Use

This module was designed for use in the Hazards of the Earth's Surface service course at USF. It makes no assumptions about prior experience or familiarity with Excel, and thus has potential for any class in which students need to develop Excel skills. The topic of risk assessment is sufficiently general that this two-module sequence could be used in other classes as well if an introduction to Excel is desired.

Description and Teaching Materials

The module is a PowerPoint presentation with embedded spreadsheets. Click on the link below to download a copy of the module.

Optimal results are achieved with Microsoft Office 2007 or later; the module will function in earlier versions with slight cosmetic compromises. If the embedded spreadsheets are not visible, save the PowerPoint file to disk and open it from there.

The above PowerPoint presentation is the student version of the module. The embedded spreadsheet consists of a template for students on which students complete their work and answer the end-of-module questions, and then turn in for grading. Since this module is designed as a stand-alone resource, instructions for extracting and saving the embedded spreadsheet are included in the PowerPoint presentation.

This module is offered in two versions: a traditional SSAC version and a new auto-feedback/graded (AFG) version. The AFG version: (a) provides automatic and immediate feedback to incorrect answers, including formulas; (b) requires students to complete tasks sequentially by not allowing them to advance until they've completed a task perfectly; and (c) automatically computes a grade and encrypts it into a code the students submit to verify successful completion. The files needed for this version can be accessed from Juster's AFG website.

Teaching Notes and Tips

This module is constructed to be a stand-alone resource. It can be used as a homework assignment, lab activity, or as the basis of an interactive classroom activity. The two-part sequence Risk Assessment for Benton County, Parts 1 and 2 has been used to introduce students to Excel in Hazards of the Earth's Surface, an online service course at USF designed for non-majors, for the last two years.

Assessment

There is a slide at the end of the presentation that contains end-of-module questions. The end-of-module questions can be used to examine student understanding and learning gains from the module. The answer key for end-of-module questions is at the end of the instructor version of the module.

References and Resources

Juster, T., Principles of Hazard and Risk. http://myweb.usf.edu/~juster/GLY2030/hazard-risk-v3.pdf

Juster, T., Hazards and Risks, Part 1 (podcast). https://learn.usf.edu/webapps/lobj-podcast-bb_bb60/files/_5761749_1/podcast-hazards_risks-part1.mp3

Juster, T., Hazards and Risks, Part 2 (podcast) https://learn.usf.edu/webapps/lobj-podcast-bb_bb60/files/_5761750_1/podcast-hazard_risk-part2.mp3

Wang, Z., Graham, G.B., and Madin, I.P., 2001, Earthquake hazard and risk assessment and water-induced landslide hazard in Benton County, Oregon. Oregon Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries. [http://water.oregonstate.edu/oakcreek/research/geology/pdf_files/equake%20and%20lanslide%20dogami.pdf]

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