Graphic Correlation Exercise

Dan Stephen
Utah Valley University
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This is a graphic correlation lab exercise.
It builds quantitative skills.
It also gives students practice interpreting data and drawing geological and biological conclusions.

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upper-division undergraduate paleo course, required for geology BS degree

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

rudimentary understanding of stratigraphic principles

How the activity is situated in the course

stand-alone lab exercise, midway through semester


Content/concepts goals for this activity

working with numbers and graphing;
rock accumulation rates;

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

dealing with "bad" data;
formulation of hypotheses.

Other skills goals for this activity

group work;
peer teaching.

Description of the activity/assignment

This is a graphic correlation lab exercise. It uses real data from a peer-reviewed journal publication by Lucy Edwards (1989). (I have manipulated the data set a little bit.) Students can finish the activity in two hours or less.

Determining whether students have met the goals

I have small classes, so it's easy for me to closely monitor student work. If necessary, I gently steer students in the right direction; thus, everyone ends up with something that approximates the "right" answer.

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