Astrid Schnetzer: Using Ocean Sustainability in Marine Biology at North Carolina State University
About this CourseAn introductory class for non-majors.
A Success Story in Building Student Engagement
I piloted this module in a fairly large class with up to 100 students who have rather strong pre-notions of the subjects to be introduced in a "marine biology" class (e.g., sharks and whales). The additional coverage of chemical and physical ocean characteristics and build up to themes of global climate change and its impact on ecosystems and organisms as a whole "caught some by surprise." A number of students did not welcome the use of active teaching tools right away, but in the end, they all embraced the challenge and were excited about the opportunity to share their opinions. The link that was made between the health of marine ecosystems and our actions (i.e. carbon footprint) left the students with a sense of empowerment.
My Experience Teaching with InTeGrateMaterialsThe activities were slightly modified to allow their use in a larger class format (i.e, group sizes). Also, several of the activities were modified to be accessible electronically through the course webpage. This allowed the students to complete assessments after additional review of lecture notes and additional material outside the class room when needed.
Relationship of InTeGrate Materials to my Course
The module made up one third of the marine biology course, and the units within the modules were all piloted at the end of the semester. This is certainly not what I plan to do next time around, since the more active style of teaching took some students by surprise after having been in the previous lectures that followed more of a traditional format (lecture, clickers, home assignments etc). Piloting the material at the end of the semester also restricted the time available for reflection and full consideration "of lessons learned" from the previous classes.