Initial Publication Date: April 16, 2021

Using IGUaNA Modules

IGUaNA materials were designed and tested by your peers: faculty and instructors at a variety of institutions across the country. The materials were designed to be adaptable to a wide variety of classrooms and settings, particularly introductory level courses.

What You Get in Each Module

Each module is designed to take 2–3 weeks of class time if used in its entirety. All of the modules have a common structure.

Instructor Materials

The instructor materials section provides guidance for the faculty member or instructor. It lays out a set of broad goals and complementary assessments and then describes a sequence of units and subsidiary activities that will engage students in meeting those goals. The activity descriptions include activity-level goals, detailed descriptions of how to run the activities successfully, and any needed supporting materials, such as student handouts. In addition, answer keys and solution sets are available only to verified instructors. To access these materials, simply click on the file names. You will be directed to fill out a simple form to validate that you are an instructor (and not a student looking for easy answers). You will only need to go through this process once; after that you will have access to all the instructor materials across the site.

Adapting Materials to Your Course

The Materials are Designed with Adaptation in Mind

Throughout the development process we have focused on creating materials that would work well in a wide variety of teaching settings—including yours. Whether you are in a community college or a large research institution, teaching online, in a large lecture hall or small seminar, you will find guidance on how to make the activities work well in your environment. Despite the variety of settings, IGUaNA activities focus on engaging students in hands-on learning: doing, not just listening. In some cases it takes a bit more creativity to fit these sorts of activities into a traditional setting designed for lectures, but the effort pays off in deeper and longer-lasting student learning.

Pick and Choose Just the Parts That Will Work for You

While the materials have been designed to work effectively in the particular sequence presented within each module, we expect many instructors will want to pick just the pieces that fit their needs, rather than adopting an entire module or course. We have documented each individual activity so that it can stand alone and be integrated into your existing courses as you see fit. Feel free to take pieces of the activities, student materials, or any of the supporting documents.

We have made sure that all the materials are completely free to use and re-purpose within a traditional educational setting. Most are offered under a standard Creative Commons license so that you can add those student readings to your coursepack without having to worry about copyright.

Examples of Pathways

Weeklong options

In some cases, it may be strategic to use IGUaNA materials just as a basic introduction to geophysics within the context of a general topic class such as Introduction to Environmental Science or Introduction to Earth Science. In this case, we envision that no more than one week may be available to dedicate to near-surface geophysics applications. Therefore, we suggest the following pathways:

  1. Measuring Depth to Bedrock Using Seismic Refraction (1x 50 min class meeting + 1h homework)
    • Lecture: Combine Unit 1, parts 1 and 2
    • Activity: Assign as homework Unit 1, exercise 2
    • Assessment: On a semester exam, use the multiple-choice question from the Unit 1 assessment
  2. Pipes, Tree Roots, or Unmarked Graves? Using Ground Penetrating Radar for Forensic Geophysics (1x 50 min class meeting + 1h homework)
    • Lecture: Unit 1 lecture slides
    • Activity: Unit 2 data analysis exercise
    • Assessment: On a semester exam, use the question from the Unit 1 assessment, boxes 2 and 3.
  3. Evaluating the Health of an Urban Wetland Using Electrical Resistivity, option 1 (1x 50 min class meeting + 1h homework)
    • Lecture: Geophysical Survey of Kearney Marsh followed by Unit 2 tutorial.
    • Activity: Unit 2 excel spreadsheet, task 2.2.2.
    • Assessment: Unit 2 Problem Sheet, questions 1, 2, 3, 11, 12.
  4. Evaluating the Health of an Urban Wetland Using Electrical Resistivity, option 2 (1x 50 min class meeting + 1h homework)
    • Lecture: Unit 3 tutorial + "resistivity setup" video.
    • Activity: Unit 3 student excel spreadsheet, Task 3.2.3D.
    • Assessment: Unit 3 problem sheet, questions 1 – 7.

À la carte

Another option would be to match specific content from IGUaNA materials directly with content that is already scheduled to be offered in the course to create an integrated experience for the students. For example, perhaps there is a 'wetland ecology' unit within an Introduction to Environmental Science class; in this case it would be appropriate to adapt content from the module on Evaluating the Health of an Urban Wetland Using Electrical Resistivity, Unit 1 and present it as a case study immediately following the planned wetland content. Alternatively, in a course such as Physical Geology for Engineers, the material from Measuring Depth to Bedrock Using Seismic Refraction, Unit 2, parts 1 and 2 would be appropriate. For an Introduction to Anthropology course, the Pipes, Tree Roots, or Unmarked Graves? Using Ground Penetrating Radar for Forensic Geophysics unit 1 concepts and materials could be incorporated.