Tropical Cyclones and Global Change
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
- Encourage students to think critically about their science with the goal that they will critically assess the information presented based upon their professional training. The choice of this hotly and publicly debated topic provides ample motivation to engage them.
- Develop the students' abilities to read and evaluate the scientific literature. Engender an awareness of the need for continuing professional education, even among those who intend to be practitioners and don't think of themselves as researchers.
- Develop the students' awareness of data quality and data sampling issues.
- Synthesize all of these tools through the individual data analysis project.
- Synthesize the variety of knowledge gained via both the data analysis project and the final term paper.
Other skills goals for this activity
- Create a variety of learning and teaching environments, where students help each other learn through group work (with group configurations changing for different subprojects).
- Develop students' public speaking skills: this includes interactive classroom discussions, formal and informal presentations.
- Develop students' writing skills through short opinion papers and a longer data project.
Description of the activity/assignment
1. Initial short opinion paperEach of these steps is described in detail in the activity description file below.
2. In-class exercises on data sampling, trend analysis, extrapolation, filtering and data quality
3. Group presentation (30 minutes plus questions) on a relevant journal article agreed with the instructor
4. Individual data analysis project on a topic agreed in advance with the instructor
5. Final opinion paper presenting their perspective on the topic. In contrast to the first opinion paper (which is very informal) students are expected to put this paper in context based on the class exercises and lectures during the course of the semester, as well as any relevant external materials.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment (Acrobat (PDF) 94kB Oct24 08)