Teach the Earth > Structural Geology > Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012 > Courses > Structural Geology

Structura Geology

Katherine Boggs

Mount Royal University
Public four-year institution, primarily undergraduate


This is a typical introductory course to Structural Geology. Because the course is small, I'm able to interweave lecture and labs and also to take the group on a weekend field trip through the Canadian Cordillera.

Course URL:
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Structural Geology
Resource Type: Course Information
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Structural Geology
Course Size:


Course Context:

This is a lower-division required course for our BSc Geology Major program. The required courses include first year physical and historical geology. The students will also have taken the two week Introductory Field Camp. This course consists of 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab and a 2 day optional field trip (although all the students participate).

Course Goals:

Students should be able to:
i) recognize and classify plate boundaries and orogenic belts
ii) use orthographic and stereographic projections to analyze folds, faults and fractures
iii) construct and interpret geologic maps and cross-sections
iv) understand rock mechanics and be able to use stress/strain to analyze folds, faults and fractures

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Lectures and labs are interwoven in order to introduce concepts and then have the students apply the concepts to solve problems. Target questions, confirmation exercises, labs, midterm and final lab/lecture exams are used to evaluate the student acquistion of the above skills. The target questions and confirmation exercises are designed to guide the students towards positive performance on the exams.

Skills Goals

The nature of this course includes developing student:
  • quantitative abilities
  • Students tend to perform well in this course while:
  • peer-teaching and
  • working in groups

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Our students tend to come into second year as a very strong cohort, especially after completing their two week introductory field camp. Peer-teaching and working in groups is strongly encouraged, but not assessed.
Student quantitative abilities are developed through lectures and labs and then assessed in labs, midterm and final lab/lecture exams.

Attitudinal Goals

One of my personal goals for our program is:
  • increasing student passion for our planet

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

While I don't assess whether students become passionate about our planet, the field trip is greatly enjoyed by everyone. I don't limit the field trip to only traditional geology...we also go see the salmon when they are running, stop to enjoy the scenery, watch the wildlife, etc


There are interim assessments such as the labs, target questions and confirmation exercises. Ultimately the midterm and final lab/lecture exams assess what the students have learned throughout the term.


Structural Geology course outline (Microsoft Word 47kB Apr30 12)

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