The Geologic Timescale and Paleoclimates

Mark Bowen
,
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.


This page first made public: Nov 24, 2014

Summary

This is a basic exercise in which students utilize a variety of online resources to answer questions about the geologic timescale, major theories in geology, and temporal scales of climate change.

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Context

Audience

The activity is used in an online undergraduate introductory physical geography course. The focus of the course is landforms and soils. The course is predominantly composed of non-majors.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

None

How the activity is situated in the course

This is a stand-alone exercise that reinforces concepts introduced in lecture. This exercise is typically completed early in the course, prior to investigating geomorphic landforms and processes.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

  • Interpret the geologic timescale
  • Recognize the major theories of landscape evolution
  • Link major events in life history with geologic eras and periods
  • Understand different natural climate drivers at different temporal scales

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

Students first navigate to the University of California Museum of Paleontology "The Geologic Timescale in Historical Perspective" website to answer a series of background questions about the geologic timescale. Students then navigate to the National Park Service Geologic Timescale website and use the Geologic Time Views Module to answer questions about major theories in geology and watch a video to answer questions about the age of the earth. Finally, students visit the National Climate Data Center "Exploring Weather & Climate Change Through the Powers of 10" website to answer questions about different scales of climate change.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students complete the exercise during the week it is assigned. Upon completion of the exercise, students must complete an online quiz that consists of the same questions in the exercise. The online quiz is within the Desire 2 Learn (D2L) online learning platform, so answers are automatically graded and imported into the student's grade book.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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