Seafloor Ages Lecture Tutorial

Karen Kortz (developed with Jessica Smay)
Community College of Rhode Island
Author Profile


Students work on this Lecture Tutorial worksheet on seafloor ages in pairs during lecture. It directly confronts misconceptions students have about the age of the seafloor, and it guides students to more complex thinking about the topic.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications



Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students need a basic understanding of divergent boundaries

How the activity is situated in the course

This activity is used during a break in lecture. There are many Lecture Tutorial worksheets covering different topics that can be used throughout the semester.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Understand and explain seafloor ages and their pattern as a result of divergent boundaries

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Critical thinking; simple map interpretation

Other skills goals for this activity

Working in groups

Description of the activity/assignment

This assignment is done by pairs of students in class after a short introductory lecture on divergent boundaries. Students work through the worksheet as it guides them towards more conceptually-difficult questions based on a map of the seafloor ages of the Atlantic Ocean. Students confront their misconceptions and come away with a more scientifically-correct understanding of the pattern of ages on the seafloor.

Determining whether students have met the goals

The Lecture Tutorial worksheet is usually not collected although questions are reviewed and answered by the instructor during class.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Teaching materials and tips

Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

Kortz, K.M., Smay, J.J. and Murray, D.P, 2008, Increasing Learning in Introductory Geoscience Courses Using Lecture Tutorials, Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 56, in press.