Teach the Earth > Geomorphology > Teaching Activities > Geo-Savvy Assessment

Geo-Savvy Assessment

Kathleen Nicoll
University of Utah
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection

Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
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For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process. This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This page first made public: May 2, 2008


I use this "landscape interpretation" exercise to assess what students know coming into my classroom - so that I can pitch the lecture at the right level. I also use a similar structured assessment at the end of the course to evaluate individual learning outcomes.

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General Education class in Geomorphology

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

writing, observation

How the activity is situated in the course

Intro Assessment (and exit assessment)
Students do the homework on their own, and then I go over it in class. I use the exercise as an icebreaker, and to engage the student input


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Evaluating how students "see" and interpret landscapes –
what do they understand about FORM and PROCESS

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

observation, synthesis, and interpretation

Other skills goals for this activity


Description of the activity/assignment

Designed for an introductory geology course

Determining whether students have met the goals

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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