Resources for Teaching Large Classes
General Information About Teaching Large ClassesTeaching Introductory Geoscience: Teaching Large Classes - This collection of pages contains a variety of information on teaching large classes, including active learning pedagogies for large classrooms and a browse of examples of introductory courses with 150 students or more.
Early Career - Teaching Large Classes - This page contains useful strategies and references about keeping students engaged, using technology and making it work for you, and getting groups to work well.
Teaching Urban Students - This collection of pages is part of the Cutting Edge and Pedagogy in Action projects and focuses on how to teach in urban environments, including how to handle large class sizes. The pages present information about how to effectively teach and engage students and example activities.
Assessment in Large Classes - Large classes pose a challenge for instructors who need to assess a large number of students in an efficient way. This page hosts a collection of SERC pages devoted to assessment strategies andexamples of how assessment is performed in the geosciences.
Effective Teaching Methods for Large ClassesPedagogy in Action - Interactive Lectures - It can be difficult to engage students with the material in a large lecture class. This collection of pages on Interactive Lectures has strategies and specific examples of activitiesto involve students in large and small lecture-based classes.
Teaching with Interactive Demonstrations - Interactive demonstrations can also be used in classes of all sizes, as projection systems can make demonstrations visible to students in the backs of large classrooms. In this module you can learn about how to illustrate conceptsand perhaps even entertain your class with simple demonstrations. There are several example demonstrations included.
Lecture Tutorials - Lecture Tutorials are short worksheets that students complete in class to make lecture more interactive and thus, they can be effective in teaching large classes. They are designed specifically to address misconceptions and other topics with which students have difficulties. This module provides basic information for what lecture tutorials are and hot they can be used in the classroom. References and examples are also provided.
ConcepTests - ConcepTests are conceptual multiple-choice questionsthat focus onone key concept of an instructor's learning goalsfor a lesson. When coupled with student interaction through clickers and peer instruction, ConcepTests represent a rapid method of formative assessment of student understanding and may be useful in assessing learning in large classrooms (especially when used with clickers). This module explains what ConcepTests are, how they are used, and provides references and examples of ConcepTests.
Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning - This page, part of Project Kaleidoscope, explains how and why process-oriented guided inquiry learning can be effective in large classrooms. Links to resources with more information are also provided.
Teaching Metacognition in Large Classes - These pages, by Perry Samson, explain why and how he teaches metacognitive skills in his large introductory classes.
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Geologic Puzzles: Morrison Formation part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Images of faulted strata, tilted turbidites, and beach rocks bring the field into the classroom, giving students practice in doing what geoscientists do. These images are examples of geologic puzzles. -
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity:Short Activity:Think-Pair-Share
Learning About Marine Sediments Using Real Data part of Introductory Courses:Activities
This exercise set explores marine sediments using real core photos and composition data from the scientific ocean drilling programs DSDP, ODP, and IODP in an inquiry-based approach.
Resource Type: Activities, Classroom Activity, Lab Activity
Being P-Waves and S-Waves part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
Teach students about P-waves and S-waves by having them model them with their own bodies. -
Resource Type: Activities, Project, Classroom Activity, Lab Activity
Whose Fault Is It Anyway? part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Games:Examples
This game has students simulate the propagation of P and S waves after an earthquake and to use the lag between these to determine where in the simulation the earthquake occurred. -
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity:Short Activity, Short Activity:Demonstration
Testing the Fixed-hotspot-moving-plate model part of Introductory Courses:Activities
Students examine hot spot tracks, magnetic inclination data, and coral data from the Hawaii-Emperor Seamount Chain to test the hypothesis that hotspots are fixed. Most students have learned somewhere that hotspots ...
Resource Type: Activities, Classroom Activity
Drinking Water Quality: An Interdisciplinary Research Experience of Introductory Geology and Chemistry Classes part of Undergraduate Research:Case Studies
Robert Shuster, University of Nebraska at Omaha Summary At the University of Nebraska at Omaha, we have involved students in introductory Geology and Chemistry classes in an interdisciplinary study of drinking ...
Resource Type: Activities:Project
Modeling Sea Level: Lateral and Vertical Facies Changes part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Teaching Materials Collection
Participants will use a tube and bead (or ball) model to visualize and predict how changes in sea level can control the lateral and vertical facies distribution within and adjacent to a marine sedimentary basin. ...
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity, Lab Activity
Investigating slope failure and landscape evolution with red beans and rice! part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Teaching Materials Collection
Students investigate the behavior of a slope profile over geological timescales using a very simple experimental apparatus. The lab allows students to understand concepts of equilibrium, controls on slope profile, ...
Resource Type: Activities:Lab Activity, Classroom Activity
Exploring Radiometric Dating with Dice part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
An activity in which students use dice to explore radioactive decay and dating and make simple calculations.
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity:Short Activity:Demonstration, Activities:Lab Activity
Demonstration of radioactive decay using pennies part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
A demonstration (with full class participation) to illustrate radioactive decay by flipping coins. Shows students visually the concepts of exponential decay, half-life and randomness. Works best in large classes – the more people, the better.
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity:Short Activity:Demonstration