Ambitious Redesign of an Introductory Physical Geology Course at a Two-Year-College

Friday 3:00pm-4:00pm Student Union: Ballroom B
Poster Session Part of Friday Session


Elizabeth Nagy, Pasadena City College
Every year the Geology Department at Pasadena City College (PCC) offers ~15 sections of Physical Geology (lecture/lab combinations) taught by 8-10 full-time, part-time, and adjunct faculty with minor consistency required between instructors. Faculty began meeting regularly in Spring 2017 to establish some uniformity among course sections. Faculty shared best practices and, in particular, examined ways to enhance the relevance of the course to the lives of the campus's diverse student population.

A rich resource for such activities came from a course redesign of a single physical geology course section that began in Spring 2016 and continued in Fall 2016. The restructured course replaced about half of the existing laboratory activities with material from four different InTeGrate modules. This redesign is part of a larger research project by eight faculty members from across the country who redesigned their courses in a similar manner to investigate student performance and attitudes about science in courses modified with InTeGrate materials. This study will present the details of the PCC redesign.

Strategies for instructors who want to add InTeGrate activities into their courses include reading through the on-line material a week or so in advance, doing the actual activities that you intend to have your students to do, and spending time reading the instructor stories and how the material authors specifically used the unit in their courses. Following first-time use in a class it is strongly suggested that you write a brief reflection after class about what went right and wrong and suggested changes that you would make next time. These reflections turn out to be incredibly valuable to review the second time you use the material.