Using concept sketches for field trip wrap-up
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
- Analysis of structures in the field and thin sections in the lab.
- Communication of thin section and field observations/data using both clear, succinct text and sketches/graphics/photos to convey their interpretations of the nature of structures and deformation mechanisms in outcrops studied on the field trip.
- Analysis of field observations/data in the context of a published geologic map.
- Interpretation of the 3D geometry of rock bodies and structures and communication of their interpretations in a cross section annotated with evidence.
- Synthesis of field observations and cross section with a regional tectonic model.
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
After returning from the field, students put together a set of concept sketches that convey not only their field observations and interpretations but that also integrate thin sections and a regional tectonic model. Students have the option of using field photos in their concept sketches, and I also provide photomicrographs and plate tectonic block models for them to incorporate. Students also make a concept sketch from their cross sections, with concept captions that provide evidence for their subsurface interpretations. Each student also writes a brief introduction providing the context for their set of concept sketches.
In the past, I have had students write illustrated field reports or field guides based on their field work, but I have found that I learn much more about what students have learned and their abilities to explain it by reading through their concept sketches. These concept sketch collections are also MUCH faster to grade than pages of text with the occasional figure!
I have also been struck by the fact that my students' concept sketches convey the sense that they are really anxious to show me what they learned in the field. In the download at the bottom of this web page, I have included scans of some of their concept sketches at the end of the actual assignment. Please note that most of them were originally done on 11x17 size paper.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Teaching materials and tips
- [file Student assignment and samples of student concept sketches (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 3MB May28 19) 'Activity Description/Assignment']
- [file Information on concept sketches: how to make them and how to use them (Acrobat (PDF) 542kB May28 19) '']