Jennifer Sliko: Using Cli-Fi in Physical Geology at Penn State Harrisburg
About this courseAn introductory level course primarily made up of civil engineering majors and a few petroleum engineering majors.
Physical Geology course syllabus (Microsoft Word 58kB Aug25 15)
A Success Story in Building Student EngagementI used this module to teach a class of civil engineering students about climate change. This class has a lab component, so, in addition to using the materials during the "lecture" class meetings, I was able to utilize Units 3 and 5 as a lab activity.
My Experience Teaching with InTeGrate Materials
I spent very little time covering graphing basics, as my students had previous experience creating and interpreting graphs in my class. I ended up spending extra time on concept maps, as my students had a very difficult time creating the concept maps—many students wanted to simply list out the interactions rather than complete the map. Due to the class schedule, the students completed Unit 4 before Unit 3, and the students completed Units 3 and 5 in the same 3-hour lab session.
Relationship of InTeGrate Materials to my Course
I taught this module about in the last quarter of the 15-week semester as a means to teach my students about climate change. Before doing this module, the students had previously learned about plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, minerals and the three rock types, weathering, soils, groundwater, and rivers. Before starting Unit 1, the students read the textbook chapter about climate change and completed a reading quiz on the material.
The students completed each of the assessments as they are described in each unit. However, while completing this module, the students completed more homework than I typically give in class (the students were not used to doing the extra work). Also, many of my students did not value the readings in Units 3 and 4 and did not read them prior to coming to class. The next time I teach this module, I will most likely give a small "reading quiz" at the start of each class to encourage students to read before coming to class.
The summative assessment was given as a take-home assignment, and the students had two weeks (including Thanksgiving break) to complete the assignment. While some students did well on the summative assessment, others had clearly put in minimal effort the night before the assignment was due.
I wanted to use this module to teach my students about climate change. While my students did learn about climate change (based on exam scores), they also learned about climate change communication. Based on their performance in Unit 5, I think they understood when it is appropriate to use the different forms of communication covered in different situations. Also, at the end of the module, my students understood the difference between pathos, logos, and ethos, which was an unexpected, but welcome, outcome.