Teach the Earth > Course Design > Course Goals/Syllabus Database > Historical Geology

Historical Geology

Shelley Jaye

Thomas Nelson Community College
Two Year College


Introductory Historical Geology

Course URL:
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Historical Geology
Resource Type: Course Information, Goals/Syllabi
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Ready for Use: Course Goals Only
Course Type: Entry Level:Historical Geology
Topics: Time/Earth History
Course Size:


Course Context:

This is an introductory level course with the prerequisite of Physical Geology and College Math. The course covers the requirement for the "second science class with a lab" to transfer to a four year university. About 20% of the students taking the class will go on to either major in a geoscience or take the additional geoscience courses necessary for a secondary education Earth Science endorsement.

Course Goals:

1) Students will be able to analyze modern geologic data and make connections between Earth's systems processes and environmental change.

2) Given a variety of historical geologic data sets, students will be able to reconstruct past environments of formation and recognize patterns of change throughout Earth's history.

3) Students will be able to assess geologic controversies and prepare valid arguments or predictions based on scientific methodology.

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

A variety of course activities, both in class and in lab, will review Earth's systems processes and allow the students to work through historical problems to piece together the geological history of the Earth with a specific concentration on North America, and particularly in Virginia. Goal assessment will be measured through a variety of participation activities in the classroom and in the lab, as well as Exams.

Skills Goals

1) Students will improve their research skills while critically assessing information gathered from various forms of reference.

2) Students will improve their writing skills through class exercises, short essays and written presentations.

3) Students will improve their communication skills through group work, discussion and oral presentation.

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Through class preparation and participation in research, written and oral presentation activities the students will improve their general skills.

Attitudinal Goals

Increase student awareness and interest in processes that formed and continue to shape their environment.

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

The student will achieve this goal through the analysis, exploration, and emphasis on the connections between our current and past environments.


I will assess student learning through an evaluation of their participation and accomplishment of written requirements for all assignments.

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