Tuesday Teaching Demos: Geology and Earth Systems

Tuesday 2:50pm-4:10pm Ritchie Hall: 366

Session Chair

Bailey Kreager, Northern Illinois University
2:50pm-3:10pm
Sedimentators
Bailey Kreager, Northern Illinois University

Show Abstract »

The "Sedimentators" activity focuses on helping students observe the relationship between sediment grain size and the energy of the environment that eroded or deposited the grains. The activity uses a Predict-Observe-Explain (POE) pedagogy that solicits students' prior knowledge on a topic, has them observe a scientific phenomenon, and finally has them compare their prior knowledge to what they observed. During this activity, students use sedimentators to observe what grain sizes settle out of a system fastest to slowest. Sedimentators are clear PVC pipes with sediment of varying size (silt-pebble) and water that models the order that grains settle out of a system. The first half of the activity focuses on identifying the order in which grain sizes settle out. The second half focuses on exploring how the order the grains settle out in relates to the energy of the environment and what the grain size in a rock sample or outcrop can tell a geologist about the rock's deposition. The outcome of this activity is for the students to interpret the energy of the environment from the grain size of the sediment.
3:10pm-3:30pm
Geologic Environment Reconstruction
Euan Mitchell, Miami University-Oxford

Show Abstract »

Before coming to class students watch short videos about each of the three rock groups and take a short online quiz. In this jigsaw-style in-class activity students first work in small groups to learn how either igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary rocks can be used to reconstruct past tectonic settings and/or depositional environments through readings and short answer questions. In the second part of the activity new groups form containing at least one member with a specialty in each of the three rock groups. In these new groups, students use geologic maps and cross sections, stratigraphic columns, and reports to investigate the geology of 2 - 4 regions and reconstruct the tectonic setting represented by each. After completing this activity students should have a better grasp of how and where rocks form and how different rock types and associations of rock types can be used to infer the geologic history of an area.
3:30pm-3:50pm
Selected technical tools approaches for real and virtual fieldwork
Don Haas, Paleontological Research Institution
Tim White, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
Lisa White, University of California Museum of Paleontology

Show Abstract »

Participants will play with a number of technical tools (primarily free or inexpensive smartphone and tablet apps) for accessing information about field sites and for documenting characteristics of those sites in the service of Virtual Fieldwork Experience (VFE) development. They will create media including 360° panoramas, 3D specimen and landscape models. Example printed 3D models of landscapes will be shared. Differences in pedagogical approaches in using verses making VFEs, and in different types of VFEs. This will include attention to advantages and disadvantages found in leaving resources "scruffy."
3:50pm-4:10pm
Active Learning for the Under-resourced and Overwhelmed Instructor
David McConnell, North Carolina State University
Jason Jones, North Carolina State University

Show Abstract »

Active learning provides peer-to-peer interaction as students participate in activities that include opportunities for reflection and/or assessment of learning. Regardless of your experience as an instructor, the incorporation of active learning into large classes may seem overwhelming. However, careful reorganization of time and content can ease this feeling using a mix of common online technology (e.g., CMS) and simple paper-and-pencil activities. We will demonstrate a variety of short exercises to show that active learning doesn't need to be dependent on exotic resources or overcomplicated to be successful. These activities have been used in both face-to-face and blended versions of an introductory physical geology course with 50-95 students. Demonstrated activities create opportunities for peer learning and include simple paper-based exercises that ask students to work together on tasks such as applying classification schemes to identify rocks or landforms, completing Venn diagrams and concept maps, or sketching and labeling a map or cross section. In addition, we will describe how to link these tasks to learning objectives and formative and summative assessments to encourage students to reflect on their learning progress. Many of these assessments are either not graded or are automatically graded online, minimizing the time taken for class management.