Teach the Earth > Course Design > Course Goals/Syllabus Database > Introduction to Earth History

Introduction to Earth History

John W. Bartley

Muskegon Community College
Two Year College

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 course with no pre-requisites. It does not serve as a pre-requisite for other courses at this institution, but carries transfer credit to other institutions where it may serve as a pre-requisite to other courses. Typically 10-25% of the students enrolled are pre-service elementary teachers, and the remainder are in the course to fullfill a general education requirement. The course includes a mandatory 2-hour lab each week, and some field experiences.

Course Goals:

1. Students should be able to interpret the geologic history of a region using maps, cross-sections, surface exposures, or other data.

2. Students should be able to synthesize and evaluate the evidence used to determine rates and patterns of evolution.

3. Students should be able to synthesize observations of processes operating at different temporal and spatial scales which produced major events in Earth history.

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

The course is structured around reading, writing, and numerous inquiry-based exercises designed to help students achieve these goals. Students are given experience with the tools and techniques used by "real" geologists to accomplish these goals. Various assessment techniques, including tests, written reports, group and individual projects, are used to determine whether students have met the goals.

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