Teach the Earth > Course Design > Course Goals/Syllabus Database > Geology in Historic Context

Geology in Historic Context

Wm Jay Sims

University of Arkansas, Little Rock
University with graduate programs, primarily masters programs


Encyclopedic use of the text book, beginning with Chapter one and off-text material about rates, feedback, scale. Then continue with Archean/Proterozoic, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic, but not as a marchthroughtime. The course will address particular topics with inthese time frames, integrating necessary content to each topic/issue, such as Snowball Earth: Geopoetry?

Course URL:
Subject: Geoscience, Geology, 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:Earth System Science
Topics: Time/Earth History
Course Size:


Course Context:

Introductory, GenEd course delivered online. Not many majors recruuited, but maybe 5-7%. No Pre-reqs or content demanded for future courses. Instead the emphasis will be on a few concepts- narrow/deep rather than broad/shallow. Lab also required for 4 hours of the 8 hour lab scinece requirement, but is taken separately.

Course Goals:

* SWBAT predict effects on Earth Spheres after a change in one of the spheres by synthesizing content and data.
* SWBAT predict effects on Earth Spheres from human activity, and communicate interconectedness of all the decks on Spaceship Earth.

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

Encyclopedic use of thee text and introduced outside materials will be used to provide content needed to address specifc topics and major theme of historical geology.

Skills Goals

*student writing
*critical analysis of web sites
*working in groups

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

Jigsaw and Gallery walk exercises delivered as threaded discussion of assigned short writing exercises, assessed and commented on by students at the end of the exercise. As an online course, rich oppurtunities exist for introducing lates ides on topics.

Attitudinal Goals

*develop good citizens who can analyse statements in Popular Press or politicl issue, and use scientific reasoning to sort out conflicting statements.
*Change student attitude toward science; understanding how viewing the world scientifically isdiffferent from other ways

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

Giving a context to the student past the home town or personal experience. Assessment tools used to determone student ability to synthesize information and come to a conceptual understanding of how the earth works.


Exercises will build from basic content understanding to synthesis of data and content. Assessed through rubric matching on writing, timely particiapation, finally using exam questions and conceptests.

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