Living on the Edge: Engaging students in evaluating hazards and societal risks at active plate boundaries

Friday 2:15pm REC Center Medium Ice Overlook Room
Oral Presentation Part of Sustainability and the Environment


Rachel Teasdale, California State University-Chico
Laurel Goodell, Princeton University
Peter Selkin, University of Washington-Tacoma Campus
Susan Riggins, California State University-Chico
The InTeGrate module, "Living on the Edge: Building Resilient Societies on Active Plate Margins" (LOE) consists of six units in which students use qualitative and quantitative information to assess risk due to earthquakes and volcanoes along active plate boundaries. Student learning from LOE is based on pre- and post- module surveys (n =180) that measure content knowledge and student attitudes towards the value of monitoring active plate margins and their self- efficacy in using geologic data to assess associated hazards and develop strategies to mitigate risk. LOE activities are adaptable for use in a wide variety of classroom settings and student populations. Current use includes lab classes (10-25 students), large lecture lower division classes (80-140 students) and medium sized upper division non-majors classes (50 students). Data suggest that the activities have positive effects on student learning across these different class settings and student populations. 74% of students indicated they "agree" or "strongly agree" that monitoring geologic activity had value to them personally and 94% indicated that such monitoring is valuable to society. Student scores also indicate increased knowledge of the types and limits of the use of data in forecasting geological hazards and their effects. Results are independent of classroom-type and of major (e.g. STEM vs. non-STEM). Learning data and instructor feedback suggest that interactive classroom activities that use real-world data to address societally relevant issues, increases student learning and enhances students' ability to synthesize scientific information.

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