Faculty Reflection: Jolvan Morris
Savannah State University
Course(s): ENVS 1140 Environmental Issues
A Success Story in Programmatic Change
In my experience using the Integrate materials students were very engaged in the Units focused on Hurricane Risks and Coastal Development. The materials were used in a non-majors undergraduate environmental science course. I found that with by having such a diverse group of students from different majors, it was important to make sure that the content was relevant and timely. I had success in adapting the materials to Savannah, GA, where the university is located. By keeping the activity and discussion focused on something that students could readily identify with, they were able to better understand how the risks of hurricanes and coastal flooding impacted them. I also found it useful (and helpful) in future discussions to wrap up the unit discussions on a note about the social impacts of the topics that were discussed using the Integrate materials. As previously stated, students in the class were from different non-science majors. The social discussion really seemed to keep them/get them engaged even if the science behind the issues were not fully understood by the time we concluded.
Incorporating InTeGrate Materials
InTegrate materials were used to supplement course topics.
I had to make the discussions on coastal risks specific to Savannah, GA. I did introduce other incidence of coastal hazards (e.g. coastal flooding, coastal erosion, hurricanes), but students seemed to grasp concepts more when they were specific to our location.
Outcomes and Evidence
I experienced increased levels of student engagement and improvements in student learning by using the InTeGrate materials. Evidence of this is supported in more participation in class discussions, as well as students' referring back to these discussions in their oral presentations as part of their final exam.