Diverse: Field, role play, storytelling, puzzle, cooperative, information systems

Edward Nuhfer
Idaho State University
Author Profile


Multiple activities--see the poster



undergraduate: entry level

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered:

Normal high school graduate skills. Be open to learning. This is a goal course for general education--I strive for liberal education. It's not a course to try to recruit geology majors! It's more important that a general education course teach what science is and how its methods lead to understanding the physical world than it is to teach a bunch of facts about geology.

How the activity is situated in the course:

A variety of exercises and assignments expanded upon by in-class group activities. Class is structured in order of our responsibilities -->goals-->learning outcomes-->knowledge and skills. Responsibilities are spelled out in catalog under course description, general education goals and specified outcomes. After that, we have "academic freedom," but not before recognizing we are part of something larger than ourselves and meeting those obligations.


Content/concepts goals for this activity:

Perceive change through time as age, patterns, ordering of events, rates, durations, frequencies, magnitudes and historical development of ideas about deep time, understanding scientific methods--especially multiple working hypotheses. These concepts are built upon and used through the entire course.

Geologic skills:

Simple observation of weathering & erosion, use of information systems, develop awareness of where major geological concepts come from.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity:

Perry stages 1-5. Collect own data and make decisions. Prioritize information, reach conclusions, work successfully in groups, metacognitive skill development.

Other skills goals for this activity:

Perceive personal place within a larger awareness.

Description of the activity/assignment

Multiple activities--see the poster


We track key points with knowledge surveys for knowledge, skills, understanding and levels of thinking mapped back into more general outcome items that cluster into goal categories. Thus we monitor pre- post-growth as both a teaching aid and an assessment measure (not as an evaluation of individuals--there's confusiion among those who don't understand the assessment-evaluation differences.

Knowledge survey, in class quiz, mastery learning with key exercises completed in three stages: self-->group--class discussion. Students monitor their change at each stage, formative evals, summative evals.


Paper, pencils and brains. Access to World Wide Web for some search for information. I think the "training" is about what excites you enough to excite your students. These ideas are exciting to me, so I can deliver them well for that reason. This poster shows possibilities and options, but it's not presented with any "do this" advocacy.

Nothing logistical. Enthusiasm of students to participate and be interested depends much upon an instructor's emotional intelligence to want to meet students' needs at their stages of learning. All of the things on this poster are fun if managed well. If they fit what you find valuable, they'll be fun for you too.

Poster Presentation