Adam Hoffman: Using in Introduction to the Critical Zone Sciences at University of Dubuque
About this CourseAn elective class for science majors.
I've taught this course in two different formats, a traditional face-to-face class consisting of
A Success Story in Building Student Engagement
I have had success teaching the entire Introduction to Critical Zone Sciences course in a variety of contexts. I first taught the course in a traditional face-to-face format over the course of a semester. The students were very excited and enjoyed the variety of disciplines covered in the course and the real-world data that were assigned to interact with. The second time I taught the course I taught it as an online summer class and again the feedback was positive regarding the data analysis activities.
My Experience Teaching with InTeGrate MaterialsFor each of my iterations I had to make some modifications. For the face-to-face course I had a lab component that gave me the ability to use some of the supplemental information provided in the course materials. While teaching the online course I had to make minor modifications to some of the worksheets and handouts to reflect that they would not be presenting it in class or discussing in class the material. I moved those presentations and discussions to online forums on our course management system.
Relationship of InTeGrate Materials to my Course
I utilized the entire course over a 15-week semester and an 8-week summer time period.
AssessmentsThe formative assessment pieces were mainly in the form of worksheets and class discussions and both were well-received. The students thought the final assessment was a lot of work, but most found it worth the effort in the end. We have since revamped the final summative assessment assignment to better match the course goals/learning objectives and to give the students a more relevant, educational, and enjoyable experience.
I was hoping to introduce my students to the important and complex relationship between the Critical Zone - atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and soil. Through this introduction to the interdisciplinary field of study I hoped to help my students improve their geoscience and systems thinking. Judging from feedback from the students and continued interaction with them I am very confident that these goals were met.