Reconsidering the Textbook > Who Attended > Michelle Hall

Michelle Hall


President

Geosciences


Science Education Solutions

4200 W Jemez Rd, Suite 301
Los Alamos, NM 87544

Phone:
505-663-5365

FAX:
505-663-5365

http://www.scieds.com/saguaro/ (more info)


What are, to you, the key issues in creating learning resources that support your teaching style and your student's learning styles?

The resources have to appeal to students with a variety of learning styles. They must deal with relevant issues and incorporate real problem solving using real data. In the geosciences, the texts must deal with the fundamental math, physics, chemistry and biology underlying the earth process in a fundamental way. Today's text's tend to gloss over these aspects of the foundation of geoscience.

The texts do not have to be comprehensive, as most courses and students cannot begin to address the current volume of information in a text.

What is your vision for the "textbook" of the future and what impediments do you see to realizing that vision?

Textbooks would be customized for individual courses and enriched by many external resources that keep them current. The challenges to doing this is the difficulty of assembling a text book that has been pieced together from a larger manuscript. In writing a traditional text or lab book, the author develops a web of information and each chapter builds upon concepts in one or more previous chapters. When that book is broken into individual chapters and repackaged, continuity of thought and inclusion of relevant building blocks can get lost. It may be easy to do in an introductory text for freshman, but it is not easily done in an advanced text for seismology, for example.

Describe briefly any research you have undertaken on teaching or learning.

I have undertaken research on how students learn science using technology; development of spatial skills in geoscience courses; evaluation of knowledge and attitude changes due to specific interventions; identification of misconceptions and have initiated small efforts to investigate how to remediate these misconceptions.

Have you created publicly accessible learning resources?

I have created four books for lower division earth science college courses containing data and technology driven investigations of earth processes. These books are also being used in several large school districts, including Fairfax VA. We have also rewritten the texts specifically for high school use and these will be published in Fall 2006 by Delmar Thomson Learning.

http://www.scieds.com/saguaro/ (more info)
http://www.brookscole.com/earthscience_d/special_features/GIS/gis.html

Hall-Wallace, M., Walker, C.S., Weeks, J., and Kendall, L., and Exploring the Ocean Environment, Brooks/Cole Thomson Learning, pp. 166, 2004.

Hall-Wallace, M., Walker, C.S., Kendall, L., Schaller, C., and Butler, R., Exploring the Dynamic Earth, Brooks/Cole Thomson Learning, pp. 118, 2002.

Hall-Wallace, M., Walker, C.S., Kendall, L., and Schaller, C., Exploring Water Resources, Brooks/Cole Thomson Learning pp. 120, 2002.

Hall-Wallace, M., Walker, C.S., Kendall, L., and Schaller, C., Exploring Tropical Cyclones, Brooks/Cole Thomson Learning pp. 78, 2002.

How would you like to contribute to the workshop?

I would like to contribute my expertise on development of the SAUARO texts, the lessons learned in usability testing both about how to teach with technology and student misconceptions.

What would you like to take away from the workshop?

Ideas of how I might reform my current work to the changing teaching environment and student population.


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