The Wisdom of the Crowd: Supporting a Highly Collaborative Classroom Environment in Atmospheric Dynamics to Enhance Student Understanding

Monday 4:30pm-6:00pm SERC Building - Atrium | Poster #17
Poster Session Part of Monday Poster Session


Casey Davenport, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The atmospheric dynamics course sequence represents a substantial hurdle for many undergraduate students majoring in meteorology due to the necessarily application of physics and complex mathematical theory towards understanding atmospheric motions and processes. Furthermore, the course is traditionally taught in an instructor-centric way, focusing on a series of equation derivations that emphasize the mathematical and physical theory of a concept before exploring the real-world applications. This passive reception of complex information often forces students to memorize steps in a derivation, rather than deeply understanding the processes outlined in each equation.

Extensive prior research demonstrates that students should take an active role in the learning process to support deep and long-lasting understanding. This presentation will describe efforts undertaken by the author over the past several years to create an increasingly collaborative learning environment in the atmospheric dynamics course sequence. Highlights discussed include worked examples, interactive whiteboard reviews, and collaborative quizzes and exams.