Scott Linneman, Departments of Geology and Education, Western Washington University.
Short description of the course:
Five-credit (quarter system), field-oriented course in geomorphology that emphasizes locally observable (and measurable) geomorphic processes: rivers, hillslopes, mass wasting, glaciers.
Design Philosophy: How is teaching the methods of geoscience integrated into the course?
The list of course goals make clear that this is a SKILLS-oriented course rather than a CONCEPT-oriented course. Thus, the methods of geoscience are the focus of the course.
Key Activities: How do these activities address teaching the methods of geoscience?
Lab exercises include surveying, map reading, map making, aerial photo interpretation, spreadsheet manipulation, proposal writing, and scientific report writing.
Assessment: How are the methods of geoscience assessed?
We assess using student writing (lab reports and research report) and two short exams (essay and map&photo interpretation). Almost all of the lab exercises take place in group format, with individual accountability built into many of the assignments. For example, the early benchmarks of their term research project are group products (proposal, data, draft up through results), but the final product is individual (post-review re-writing and addition of Discussion section)