Faculty Reflection: Brigette Brinton
Savannah State University
Course(s): ENVS 1140 Environmental Issues
A Success Story in Programmatic Change
Each module itself is typically fairly in-depth, suitable for a focused study of the topic. They are also definitely interdisciplinary, often requiring analysis of the information as well. Ideally, all portions of a module would be completed together so that the students learn all of the varied external and internal connections for the topic, but individual sections or items can also be used independently from the module as a whole.
The InTeGrate materials have a lot of potential, especially with the online resources that can be used by students. I honestly wish that I could have used more of the modules and course materials, but instead I incorporated small portions of the information into an existing course. Since I was tailoring the material to my students' needs and existing topics, there were only a few resources that I used.
Incorporating InTeGrate Materials
My Environmental Issues course is a non-majors elective. We used portions of the "Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes" module as a way to understand differences between risks and hazards, and analyzed hurricane landing frequency in different areas of the United States. The students respond well to the materials (presentations, online links, worksheets) that I used, as they learned how to connect daily events in their personal lives to larger-scale events such as hurricanes and earthquakes.
It was helpful for me to incorporate these materials into my existing lecture topics near the beginning of the course so that the ideas were established in their minds when addressing other concepts. Then at the end of the course the students worked on an in-class project where they also connected this concept with the ideas of coastal planning and resource use by planning a mock-community on a local island.
The Risks and Hazards presentation was a resource that I modified to suit our local coastal environment, focusing on hurricanes and floods, as well as increased explanation of the general concept of a hazard vs. a risk. For the students, I combined several of the resources together into one worksheet with references to an online article about high frequency, low risk events in our daily lives. This allowed us to cover all of the topics in one item, with only a few key questions for them to complete.
Outcomes and Evidence
These resources assisted me with providing the personal connection between students' lives and global topics. They engage with the idea of both a daily shower and a hurricane being hazards, but with vastly different frequencies and implications: Variable risks. During class, I incorporate memorable examples for them to keep in mind when trying to determine how these ideas apply in a new discussion.