Mary Leech, San Francisco State University

From your experience, what practices make for excellent online Earth Science learning?

I think it's important to provide a clear connection between the online and in-person parts of the class. Classes are used for lab sessions (rocks, minerals, petrographic microscopes), small group work, etc. Short, focused lecture videos with questions/quizzes that will encourage active participation in the online lectures too.

How do you utilize technological tools (Google Earth, topical databases, blogging, etc.) in your online courses?

I have used tools like Google Earth and GeoMapApp to explore different tectonic settings in both qualitative and quantitative ways. I have included petrologic data (whole-rock and trace element chemistries mostly) in the GEOROC database to understand petrologic differences between different tectonic environments.

How do you manage student engagement and assessment in your online courses?

I use in-class quizzes about online material (pop quizzes sometimes if students are not keeping up with the online lecture material); online quizzes; short, written assignments (short answer questions, definitions); and practical exams on lab material.