Collaborative Research Project: Geoscience Undergraduate Curricula
In this 2011 collaborative research project, students investigated the geoscience curricula at 37 of VT's peer institutions using scientific methods of data acquisition and analysis. Each student was responsible for researching one peer institution against twelve criteria and then recording their findings in a shared google-docs spreadsheet. Thereafter, student teams were assigned to one of the twelve criteria. Each team used the information in the spreadsheet as well as other sources to describe, compare and contrast peer institution curricula with that of VT. Thereafter, their results were written formally and presented orally to VT faculty.
Methods of GeoscienceThe activity uses both descriptive and experimental methods to gather information pertinent to the research problem. Each year, the focus problem changes, and this past year, the students addressed curriculum design, but in doing so, they not only gathered data at peer institutions, they gathered and evaluated responses to VTs curriculum. These two methods, one descriptive, the second, hypothesis driven, showed them how these various methods can be applied to any problem.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
GeoFun Project Written Report Rubric 2011 (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 21kB May11 12)
GeoFun Project Presentation Rubric 2011 (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 21kB May11 12)
GeoFun Project Sample Excel Data Sheet 2011 (Excel 115kB May11 12)