Story telling as a tool for long-term learning of geologic terms

Thursday 2:45pm Northrop Hall: 116


Laura Rosales Lagarde, Nevada State College at Henderson
Paige Hall, Nevada State College at Henderson
Kathryn Tucker, Nevada State College at Henderson
Roberta Miranda, Nevada State College at Henderson
Laura Decker, Nevada State College at Henderson
Learning geology has been compared to learning a new language due to the abundance of discipline-specific terms unfamiliar to students. This task can be daunting, especially for freshman students. The story telling assignment is designed to promote understanding, holistic long-term learning of geologic concepts and their conceptual relationships. Creating a story addresses the first five categories of Bloom's Taxonomy: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis and synthesis of geologic concepts while it fosters creative and communication skills. The assignment consists on building a story involving 12 geologic terms from the textbook. The tasks required include: a) reflecting on previous knowledge about the topic; b) reading with intent; c) reviewing the meaning of the keywords; d) finding the conceptual relationships between the keywords; e) select a theme of interest to develop the story; f) think of the target audience; and g) peer-review another's student story.
The Story Telling assignment resulted from the collaboration between faculty from the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the Writing Center at Nevada State College, Henderson, Nevada. This collaboration pursues writing across the curriculum by bringing in writing and teaching experiences from different backgrounds. This effort is supported by the Writing Center which provided workshops on how to write a story and how to peer-review. The development of this assignment fostered teaching Geology as a Writing Intensive Course. By the time of this conference, three sections of the Exploring Planet Earth class at Nevada State College will have used Story Telling to learn and remember geologic concepts. This class teaches 100-level geology to mostly non-science majors of diverse backgrounds seeking to fulfill their science with a lab requirement. The Story Telling assignment can be a fun alternative way for the students to foster long-term learning of concepts from any class.