WaGSS What a Geology Student Sees

Tuesday 3:10pm-3:30pm E Building 202
Teaching Demo Part of Tuesday


Daina Hardisty, Mt. Hood Community College


Participants will participate in a Gallery Walk activity used in my Physical Geology course and I will also include assessment examples of students as they communicate abut the Geology of a photo they've researched.


In this teaching demonstration, participants will have the chance to engage with an activity one of my former students named WaGSS ("What a Geology Student Sees" about Geomorphology-focused photos, based on Stephen Marshak's "What a Geologist Sees"). Active learning encourages a deeper understanding of the course material and helps in developing conceptual thinking skills. I present my approach to active learning using the gallery walk format coupled with a photo and three basic leading questions. Traditionally, a gallery walk is a good way to assess what students have learned about the content being taught. However, in my class students use the gallery walk to introduce the topic concepts prior to further "lecturing" and clarification of concepts that might still be confusing. Students practice discussing, debating, organizing, and writing about the topic as well as annotating a photo to interpret the landscape as a "Geologist" would see it. This is just the 1st step in a multi-step focus toward mastery of surface processes/basic geomorphology. This is assessed with student essays where they use the same format. Communication & research about science/geology topics is the primary focus for this class.


The Surface Processes/ Basic Geomorphology part of Geology series is set up using this technique (What a Geology Student Sees when looking at a landscape photo) which has proven particularly effective, based on past student anecdotal responses. The target audience is 1st & 2nd year students at a 2YC enrolled in a beginning Geology class

Why It Works

Everyone is interested in application of learning. Student's apply their learning and feel good about going out to an actual landscape and analyzing and hypothesizing the weathering and erosional agents responsible for the view the see. Based on anecdotal evidence from past students, this has been extremely valuable.

Presentation Media

UPDATEDeer2023WAGSS (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) PRIVATE FILE 4.9MB Jul11 23)

Presentation Media

UPDATEDeer2023WAGSS (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) PRIVATE FILE 4.9MB Jul11 23)

Presentation Media

EER2023DainaHardistyWAGSS (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) PRIVATE FILE 4.9MB Jul11 23)