Teaching Quantitative Skills in the Geosciences
Quantitative skills are an essential tool for both the geoscientist and the citizen. Helping students master skills ranging from simple arithmetic or graphing, to sophisticated use of equations and models is an integral aspect of teaching geoscience at the undergraduate level.
This website provides information on the issues involved in teaching quantitative literacy, reasoning, and skills and methods for doing so as well as additional resources and a community of other faculty who are all attempting this challenging task.
- Issues and Discussion: An overview of issues and a starting point for discussion. What do we mean by quantitative skills? Which skills are important? This section also includes links to commentaries, a reference list of related articles, and a discussion list where you can discuss your challenges in teaching quantitative skills.
Teaching Methods: Examples and discussion of teaching methods currently used to teach quantitative skills in the geosciences.This graphic shows the relationship between topographic profile and slope to make the concept of the derivative clear. Image from the Computational Geology column in the Journal of Geoscience Education, n. 5.
Teaching Resources: Classroom resources focusing on quantitative skills in a geoscience context, including activities, course descriptions, internet resources, and resources for students to use directly.
Teaching Quantitative Skills in Particular Settings: The kind of class and campus setting can pose particular challenges and opportunities for teaching quantitative skills.
Tools and Datasets: Data sets and the tools for working with them can be a good way to engage students' interest with real-world questions.
Community: There is a growing community of people who are interested in improving students' quantitative skills. And that community is larger than just geosciencetists. Join that community and find out about activities going on in this larger arena.
Browse all News and Events
- Report on Broadening Participation in the Geosciences Released
The Geo-Needs Project Team is pleased to announce the release of results from a series of meetings: Geo-Needs: Stakeholder Needs Assessment for Broadening Participation in the Geoscience Workforce. The full report and the executive summary can be downloaded at the Geo-Needs website.
- Apply Now for the Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB Workshop
October 23-25, 2016
Carleton College, Northfield, MN
Participants will share their successes developing computational skills using MATLAB in the undergraduate classroom and discuss best practices for the community. By attending the workshop, you will be part of a community effort to bring together best practices and teaching materials that will be made freely available through the SERC website. MathWorks (makers of MATLAB®) is sponsoring the workshop. Application deadline is September 2, 2016.
- Service Learning in the Geosciences: Resources to Engage Students in Projects Within their Community
While service-learning is emerging as one way to give undergraduate students hands-on opportunities, there have been few systematic efforts to examine how service-learning is being used in the geosciences and whether it has a positive impact on students. Read on and learn more from a recent workshop that addressed why service learning is important in the geosciences, provided opportunities for innovation, and compiled resources for teachers to engage students in projects within their communities.