About this Course
Required course for senior Geoscience majors in a Hydrologic Science track, and introductory graduate course for MS Hydrologic Science students.
My course is a lecture-based course designed for juniors, seniors, and first-year graduate students in Geoscience Hydrology programs. I typically rush through the theory of each process in the hydrologic cycle, and then assign textbook-based homework assignments for assessments. In recent years I have been transitioning the class to be more project-based. This module has helped me in that transition.
Students appreciated the applied nature of the module. With less emphasis on listening to lectures on theory, students were able to spend time exploring data, interpreting observations, and writing conclusions.
My Experience Teaching with GETSI Materials
I had to shorten some aspects of the units and did not do student presentations to fit the module into the time that I had. I combined Units 1 and 2, did the equivalent of Unit 3 earlier in the term (GEOS students are very familiar with Manning's equation), and turned Unit 4 into a demonstration.
Relationship of GETSI Materials to my Course
My course is a full 16 week semester. This module was completed during the final weeks of the semester. The course focuses on physics of hydrologic processes including water balance, precipitation, snowmelt, evapotranspiration, soil and groundwater flow, and streamflow. I used this module to supplement the streamflow section.
I used the student assignments as assessments in Units 2, 3, and 4 essentially unmodified. I did not feel that the assessment in Unit 1 was appropriate for the class. The final summative assessment in Unit 5 was due at the very end of the semester, so I did not have much time to determine how students felt about it. A few comments in the course evaluations said the project was valuable.
I intend to transition my entire class to be more project based. In this module, any shortcomings were more related to my ability to replace lectures with projects. I do feel that the overall module is too long for my course. I need to figure out if I modify my course to accommodate long projects, or if I modify the module. I do think that students enjoy the projects more than sitting in lectures. However, I also feel that students need to be introduced to the theory at some point in their lives. I am working on finding that balance.