Implementing Integrate & Curriculum Design
Monday 1:30pm-4:00pm Weeks Geo: 140
Beginning to InTeGrate in large introductory lecture courses: lessons from an implementation pilot
Christopher Berg, Orange Coast College
This presentation will discuss the benefits, challenges, and student responses to a pilot attempt to replace significant portions of the existing coursework with InTeGrate modules in one section of a large lecture (>60-seat) physical geology course taught at the University of West Georgia. This effort is part of a broad, multi-institution study evaluating the effectiveness of incorporating InTeGrate activities and materials on increasing the scientific literacy, engagement level, and awareness of the social and economic relevance of geoscience-based issues for students in introductory courses. As many of these students are non-STEM majors, introductory geoscience courses represent a critical opportunity to help students understand the mechanisms and processes that are part of scientific investigations, the data that drive scientific interpretations, and the relevance of earth-science literacy to their daily lives. Through the use of hands-on small-group activities, focused readings, and a student-centered flipped-classroom model, students explore hazards and risks associated with plate boundaries, evaluate the risks of coastal storms, and relate the geologic properties of mineral resources to the social and economic impacts of their exploitation. As part of this presentation, the structure and learning objectives of the original physical geology course will be compared to the adjusted course in which nearly half of the course content has been replaced by InTeGrate modules. Preliminary student data and student feedback from the pilot semester will be shared, with a focus on the challenges and opportunities specific to incorporating this approach in large lecture classrooms. Attendees should come away with strategies for implementing InTeGrate content into their own geoscience courses, regardless of size.
Integrating Sustainability: Adapting InTeGrate Modules for Sustainability Pathway courses to Engage Students in Societal Issues at CSU, Chico
Rachel Teasdale, California State University-Chico
Colleen Hatfield, California State University-Chico
Bruce Grelle, American Geophysical Union
Janine Stone, California State University-Chico
Eric Willard, California State University-Chico
Lee Altier, California State University-Chico
Don Hankins, California State University-Chico
Philip Clements, California State University-Chico
The Integrate Sustainability project at CSU, Chico is a collective effort of eight faculty to incorporate InTeGrate curriculum in lower and upper division courses in a GE Pathway focused on Sustainability. Online materials have been adapted to engage students in societal challenges from interdisciplinary perspectives in courses including Agriculture, Economics, Environmental Literacy, Geography, Geological & Environmental Science, History and Religious Studies. Students explore topical themes throughout the Pathway so they can learn to critically assess the issues and possible solutions related to climate change, water resources, sustainable use of soil and mineral resources and environmental justice. The curriculum incorporates authentic data sets that students use to address problems and foster systems thinking. The project has also resulted in an effective faculty learning community across the Sustainability Pathway. Faculty collaborations include assessment of data and peer review of curriculum and instruction. Since fall 2015, faculty have adopted InTeGrate modules and are quantitatively measuring data on student learning and attitudes. Early interpretations suggest that some lower division students have good working knowledge of climate change events such as ENSO (approximately 66% of students) and in the types of environmental problems associated with mining (94% of students). Similarly, upper division students have good understanding of adaptation vs. mitigation strategies that might help reduce impacts of climate change in developed societies. In areas of climate change and use of resources, survey data reveal significant learning gains in some topics, while others have lower learning gains. Ongoing administration of student surveys before and after using InTeGrate modules will help faculty identify areas of the Sustainability Pathway that can be bolstered with more in- depth examination of societal issues our students' generations will face as they move through their academic programs and into their professional careers, civic responsibilities and as voting members of society.
Adapting geoscience materials for introductory biology courses using the Faculty Mentoring Network
Jennifer Hanselman, Westfield State University
Hannah Scherer, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ
Sam Donovan, University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown
Alison Hale, University of Pittsburgh-Main Campus
InTeGrate and the Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis (QUBES) project have partnered to support the adaptation of these geoscience modules into introductory biology courses. The modules all include a systems thinking approach while focusing on students' metacognitive abilities. The QUBES project partners with high quality content providers, like InTeGrate, to coordinate long duration (3-4 month), low intensity (biweekly synchronous meetings) faculty communities called faculty mentoring networks (FMN). The goal of a FMN is to support the faculty community through the process of customizing the materials for use in their instructional settings, implementing them with students, and publishing the products for use by other faculty. These efforts provide rich scholarly experiences for participants and add value to the existing teaching materials by building paradata (information about the use of the materials) that will support future adoption. Situated learning postulates that learning is embedded in experience such that learning outcomes for participants in the FMN are a product of their efforts to incorporate geoscience concepts into biology courses. Analysis of FMN activities from the perspective of situated learning in a community of practice allows for identification of mechanisms through which participants learn from their experience, each other, and input and facilitation from the mentors. Understanding how the participants experienced the FMN leads to identification of components of the FMN that were particularly instrumental or detrimental to faculty adaptation and implementation of InTeGrate materials. Faculty are adapting InTeGrate modules for the biology context with a range of approaches and degrees of revision. Analysis of how faculty approach these changes provides insight into strategies for supporting more faculty members in the use of existing materials in new disciplinary settings.
Mapping The Environment With Sensory Perception: An Interdisciplinary Module For Examining Environmental Contamination And Impact
Michael Phillips, Illinois Valley Community College
Lisa Phillips, Illinois State University
Kate Darby, Western Washington University
Fully understanding and characterizing environmental problems requires an interdisciplinary approach that draws from a variety of fields. The initial affect of contamination is most often noted when people detect alterations of their lived spaces through sensory experiences – by the way their environment smells, sounds or looks. This initial impact prompts the collection and analyses of water, soil, and air samples as well as information on the individuals who live in impacted environment. We have developed a module wherein students develop an understanding of the systemic impact pollutants have on the environment and how scientists and other concerned parties investigate that impact and use the results to communicate and develop containment and remediation strategies. Sensory data (specifically smells and sounds) are collected by students and used to trace the movement of contaminants through the environmental system. During this module, students analyze and characterize a variety of quantitative and qualitative data by planning and completing field investigations, engaging with case studies, and creating a map of an environmental setting using their sensory perceptions. By mapping sensory impacts, students develop and express an understanding of the connections between chemicals that can be detected in the environment, the movement of those substances through the environment under variable environmental conditions, and the impact those substances may have on the lived experience of residents. The module is designed to foster synthesis between sensory perception (what students smell, taste, hear, see, or feel) and geoscientific data (such as water samples and flow maps) to facilitate deeper analysis of environmental issues by engaging with data as characterized by multiple disciplines.
How to use problem-based learning to catalyze student engagement in classes that explore exoplanets, habitability, or astrobiology
Ronald Daly, Brown University
Stephanie Bouchey, Brown University
Problem-based learning (PBL) is an active, student-centered pedagogy wherein students learn by tackling a complex, real-world problem. PBL is proven to cultivate more than content knowledge: it improves problem-solving, metacognitive, critical-thinking, and communication skills. PBL therefore empowers students with valuable skills that will serve them throughout their lives (MacKinnon, M.M., 1999, doi:10.1002/tl.7805). We use PBL as the basis for a class called "Habitable Worlds: Possible Places for Life in the Solar System and Beyond". The class uses PBL to help students explore key concepts of planetary habitability. These concepts include exoplanet detection, exoplanetary systems, planetary interiors, planetary atmospheres, the habitable zone, extremophiles, and potentially habitable worlds in our Solar System (Mars, Europa, Enceladus, and Titan). Habitability and exoplanet research have high media visibility and cut across disciplinary boundaries, which helps the class appeal to a broad range of students At the start of the class, we assign pairs of students a recently-discovered exoplanet and task them with deciding whether it is habitable: a place with the ingredients and conditions for life as we know it. Students use the same peer-reviewed data (freely available on exoplanets.org) that professional scientists use, which adds a thrill of authenticity. However, a recognized weakness of PBL—cognitive load—can make the project quite difficult. To combat this issue, we gradually equip students with the quantitative and qualitative tools needed to assess their planet, and we give students time to practice and explore examples in our own Solar System. The challenging, real-world problem at the core of this course motivates students to work beyond their academic comfort zone. In the process, they evolve from novices to semi-experts about their planets. The overwhelming majority of students in this PBL-based class report learning more than they thought they would (2015 = 94%; 2014 = 77%; 2013 = 100%).
The Mission (Geo)Impossible Scavenger Hunt: Inclusive, Infuriating, Exhilarating
Karla Panchuk, University of Saskatchewan/ St. Peter's College
In an introductory physical geology course for STEM and non-STEM majors, it can be a challenge to engage students who don't have a science background. If these students feel they don't belong, they can be reluctant to ask for help, and are more likely to attribute their difficulties to the perceived fatal flaw of not being "science people." The Mission (Geo) Impossible scavenger hunt is a way to engage students of all backgrounds, interests, and skill levels, and have them feel they are making a truly valuable contribution- because they are. Mission (Geo) Impossible is a scavenger hunt for information. Teams of 3 to 5 students attempt to solve 19 quests by the end of the term in order to receive additional credit on their final grades. Quests require knowledge of topics discussed in class, but are designed so that a wide variety of other knowledge is needed. This could be knowledge of other sciences, the arts, languages, literature, popular culture, or just a knack for solving puzzles. Students are encouraged to make their team as diverse as possible to gain the greatest advantage. Quests consist of (mostly) Google-proof clues, many of which are only images. Teams submit answers to a dedicated email address and receive a single-word response: correct, incorrect, or proceed. Each time a team successfully completes a quest, it is added to a scoreboard on the LMS. Teams become very engaged in the quests, especially once they solve a particularly difficult one, leading to frenzied pulses of activity at all hours. Students have reported taking their list of quests to lectures and listening extra carefully in case a clue jumps out at them. Non-STEM majors have expressed delight at being able to assist stymied STEM teammates.
A collective map project for GEO 120: Geology of the US National Parks
Beth Laliberte, University of Rhode Island
Geology of the United States National Parks (GEO 120) is an introductory Geology class principally for non-science majors. The student population ranges from freshman to seniors and have a wide variety of majors. A semester-long project has been developed for students to examine a national park of their choice in detail. At the beginning of the semester every student submits three park choices. The student is assigned one of their choices such that a wide variety of parks are represented. For their assigned park, the students write two essays: one on the geology of the park and one on research that has been conducted (or they feel should be conducted) in the park. The students then use the information about geology and research into the making of a collective map for their park using Scribble Maps. Near the end of the semester each student reviews two other students' maps. Examples of completed student collective maps will be shown to illustrate the project.
Water Sustainability on Campus – Opportunities for Education, Facilities Management, and (Gasp!) Saving Money
Scott Brande, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Julie G. Price, University of Alabama at Birmingham
UAB's Red Mountain Project, modeled on The Piedmont Project of Emory University, provides grant support to faculty for enhancing existing courses or creating new courses with sustainability themes. Our presentation will review a new Red Mountain Project focused on UAB's critical needs for increasing volumes of non-potable water. Although perhaps underappreciated by most students and faculty, water that flows through our campus ecosystem touches all aspects of university life. UAB emphasizes openness of operational and construction initiatives to faculty and students for research and engagement to promote the campus as a living laboratory. Our sustainability project originated with UAB's increasing needs for water as its population and facilities continue to grow. UAB is an urban institution that is now the largest employer (over 21,000 employees) in the state of Alabama. The campus is home to more than 200 buildings and over 16 million square feet of space in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. At UAB, many different facilities require temperature control and frequent air exchanges, including acute-care hospital facilities, animal care facilities, research laboratories, and of course, classrooms and offices. Temperature control is provided by the closed loop chilled water and central steam systems. UAB has invested in systems for capturing and recirculating water from the fins of a condensate cooler system. But as the institution's needs and costs for water increase, UAB is evaluating for use the tapping of groundwater in shallow aquifers from below the campus. A study of our institution's water systems will provide multiple opportunities for 1) faculty development and student learning in a broad array of courses (e.g., introductory geoscience, biology, economics, health services), 2) public awareness of institutional dependence on water, a critical urban resource, and 3) an exemplar that may be modeled at other colleges and universities because of common institutional needs for water.