InTeGrate Modules and Courses >The Wicked Problem of Global Food Security > Instructor Stories > Dr. Amy E. Potter
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Dr. Amy E. Potter: Using Food Security in Geography 1100: World Regional Geography at Armstrong State University


About this Course

An introductory course for non-majors.

2 sections of
24
students

Two, 75-minute lecture sessions


Geog 1100 Syllabus (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 228kB Jun23 16)

A Success Story in Building Student Engagement

My course is an introductory world regional geography class that fulfills the global perspectives requirement for the university. I teach this course thematically (largely traditional lecture format) with regional examples inserted throughout. I ran the module the last three weeks of the semester as a culmination of some of the human/cultural themes we discussed throughout the class with the exciting insertion of earth systems. The module allowed students to focus on the problem of food security in the context of a regional case study.


My students were incredibly engaged throughout the module. I was initially worried about their level of energy at the end of the semester, however, the module provided a new spark of enthusiasm for the course because the students had to take ownership of their learning. The group projects created a camaraderie within the teams, and the students were generally quite proud of their final PowerPoint presentation.
The level of student engagement, classroom energy, student camaraderie, and overall pride in the final project that resulted from this module is something I hope to replicate in all my courses from here on out.

My Experience Teaching with InTeGrateMaterials

Most of my students work full or part time so I tried to space out some of the assignments (the AGO 4x4 and the Wicked reading) by assigning them earlier in the semester.

Relationship of InTeGrate Materials to my Course

The three-week module served as a final capstone project for a 15-week course. Because many of the topics I discuss in my course already intersect with food security, I occasionally would foreshadow the module throughout the semester.

Assessments

The Integrate module activities were graded in a larger participation category. Throughout Units 1 through 3, there were built-in checks to ensure students completed the readings and understood the materials. Unit 1 had an online 5-question quiz. Units 2 and 3 had assignments the students brought to class. But the two primary assessments consisted of the final PowerPoint presentation and the essay following the Gallery Walk. My students were receptive to the PowerPoint assessment as it was a team effort and something they took ownership in completing. The essay assessment was a natural culmination of the three-week module.

Outcomes

The goal of the module was for students to build on the traditional course materials and apply what they had previously learned to the focused wicked problem of food security. The idea of a regional case study was particularly appealing for a world regional geography course. The module allowed students to connect earth systems to human processes—a more holistic approach—to understand the complexities of food security. In addition, students were empowered to use spatial tools to visualize and critically think about food security from a variety of perspectives.

Classroom Context

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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »