Lorraine Motola: Using Major Storms and Community Resilience in Disaster Response and Recovery at Metropolitan College of New York
About this CourseUpper division, major course.
Disaster Response and Recovery Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 294kB Oct23 16)
A Success Story in Building Student Engagement
My course is designed for upper level Disaster Management students currently in the field, or seeking to enter the field. That said I think it is advantageous to seek out real world materials that support the academic goals of the program with career preparation in mind. Therefore the module satisfies those desires while offering systems thinking, building interdisciplinary connections, using real world examples and local data. This methodology is an extremely beneficial framework.
My Experience Teaching with InTeGrateMaterialsBecause class enrollment was extremely low, group projects had to be adapted for individuals. For example, the town hall meeting took on the presidential town hall formats. The student presented their policy paper, instructor served as the event moderator and asked a series of questions. Then the other student was given an opportunity to ask questions.
Relationship of InTeGrate Materials to my Course
The course is fourteen weeks long and the module was introduced during the second half of the semester. Topics introduced before the module included the Four Phases of Comprehensive Emergency Management/What is the Difference between Mitigation & Preparedness. ISDR The Four Elements of Effective Warning Systems â€” "Failure in any one part can mean failure of the whole system" and the Tilly Smith tsunami warning video. DHS 16 Critical Infrastructures and the American Society of Civil Engineers/ Infrastructure Report card. That said the module course materials blended with and reinforced earlier systems thinking lectures.
I found that the students were most engaged during the Concept Map Activity and the Probability and Comparative Probabilities of Risk Activity. These activities served as an excellent foundation in preparing for the other module assessments I used; Hazard Vulnerability Analysis, Hazard Mitigation Plan memo, press release, Town Hall Debate and in developing their policy papers.
The information armed the students with confidence and expertise displayed not only when completing the Hazard Vulnerability Analysis matrix but in defending their positions in class. Additionally the activities were extremely helpful in order to develop and/or deliver their press releases, town hall debate and policy paper.
The things that I had hoped students would take-away from the module were:
conduct independent research on hazards, storm events and policies by embracing the contents of a Hazard Mitigation Plan;
analyze Hazard Mitigation Plans ... what worked, observations/recommendations ... what did not work, observations/recommendations;
compile and deliver Lessons Learned information for leadership and stakeholders as a way to improve emergency preparedness and community resilience in a variety of venues including a Town Hall style meeting.
I observed that the students were able to Incorporate the above goals in the module activities and assignments.