Cutting Edge > Geomorphology

Teaching Geomorphology

The Earth's surface is the only part of the planet we can directly observe. Thus, geomorphology is essential in that it allows students to translate what they see on the landscape into the processes at work. Surficial processes can take place over miles or millimeters, and vary temporally from seconds to millenia. Thus geomorphic thinking is an important component of training students to see the earth through the lens of a geoscientist. This site provides resources for designing or augmenting an undergraduate geomorphology course with an eye to new pedagogic methods, high-quality teaching activities, and current research into what works in the classroom.

Course Design & Pedagogy | Resource Collections | Special Topics | Workshops & Events | Get Involved

Designing an Effective Geomorphology Course

1. Set goals

Learn more about setting effective course goals in the Course Design Tutorial. You can also explore course goals from others' Geophysics courses using the syllabi available in the course collection.

2. Consider assessment options

Aligning your assessment strategies with the goals of your course is an essential part of the design process. You can learn more about assessment in the section about Assessing Student Learning in the Course Design Tutorial and through our module on Observing and Assessing Student Learning.

3. Select pedagogies and specific teaching activities

The pedagogic techniques highlighted below can provide inspiration as you consider various approaches that will help you achieve your course goals. The resource collections are organized to provide a rich set of materials to draw from in constructing the specific set of learning experiences you want for your students. Finally, explore the more in-depth information and ideas available in special topics.

Selected Pedagogical Approaches

Geomorphology courses require and help students build a variety of observational skills, quantitative skills and critical thinking abilities. In addition to those listed below, a selection of pedagogies that lend themselves to skill development can be found in the Teaching Methods area.


Resource Collections

Once you've identified the core learning goals for your course, you can use them to focus your search for relevant materials in our resource collections. The materials listed below reflect the contributions of faculty members from across the country.

Special Topics

Workshops & Events

Get Involved




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