Initial Publication Date: September 21, 2021

Using Project EDDIE modules in MSC 160 Oceanography

Jacqui Degan, Cape Fear Community College

About this Course

MSC 160 Oceanography

Lecture Course

Introductory Undergraduate


students in the course

EDDIE Module Developed

All students have at some point experienced a storm. The Bomb Cyclone module is a great series of activities to use during the Atmospheric Circulation section of an Introductory Oceanography course. It introduces students to working with large datasets and basic graphing skills in Excel, and exposes students to how messy real data can be.

Jump to: Course Context | Teaching Details | Student Outcomes

Relationship of EDDIE Module(s) to my Course

I included this module as an assignment for the Atmospheric Circulation chapter ("Air" module) in my Introductory Oceanography course. In an online class, students had two weeks to complete all the activities. Students were required to read the chapter and view my lecture before doing the activities.

Teaching Details

What key suggestions would you give to a colleague before they used the activity in their teaching?
I would suggest that instructors review the basics of low- and high-pressure systems, specifically focusing on barometric pressure and other variables that change with storms, as well as how to use various Excel functions. It would also be beneficial to review the EDDIE Statistical Vignettes on Correlation Coefficient and Linear Regression, and the Oceans Observatory Network and National Data Buoy Center arrays of oceanographic buoys. It helped me to actually do all the activities myself before giving them to the students.

How did you address challenges in teaching with the module?
Due to the COVID pandemic, I had to teach my usual face-to-face class remotely, so a big challenge I faced was helping those students that did not have reliable access to a computer and/or a spreadsheet program, such as Excel. To address this challenge, I encouraged them to still make their hypotheses, and provided the graphs for their analyses. Some students that did have connectivity were daunted by the large data sets, but going over some of the basic formulas in Excel (either through email or Zoom/Google Meet) helped ease their anxiety.

Student Outcomes

Quantitative reasoning is using basic mathematical skills to analyze and interpret real-world information. This module enables students to learn about storms that are relevant in their daily lives by using real-world data from the Oceans Observatory Network and the National Data Buoy Center.

The Bomb Cyclone module allows students to explore large data sets collected by the Oceans Observatory Network and the National Data Buoy Center. Even though this data is not in its "raw" state, students are still exposed to the variations in how the data was collected (for instance, the frequency of collection times), as well as vagaries in the data (for instance, the precipitation data). Upon the completion of this module, students should understand that in order to analyze data it is important to understand how the data is collected.