Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience

The Starting Point collection consists of resources found within the Starting Point website to support teaching entry-level undergraduate geoscience of all types. The collection includes modules on instructional methods that make up the Starting Point site. Examples demonstrate ways of using these methods in geoscience courses and laboratories, and the websites referenced in the site that provide additional information and resources. The collection includes resources that span the needs of faculty and graduate students in designing, developing, and delivering entry-level undergraduate courses in the geosciences. It consists primarily of instructional materials and activities, annotations and materials supporting the use of instructional materials and activities, information on instructional methods and issues in teaching customized for geoscientists, primary sources, review articles, summaries and bibliographies pertaining to pedagogy, assessment, issues in teaching, course development and management, and learning science.

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  • Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
2004 Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Project
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Students are employees of a unit of the United Nations responsible for coordinating disaster relief after a major disaster (the 2004 Asian Earthquake and Tsunami) occurs. The agency needs to understand the situation in each country so that it can coordinate the work of various governments and NGO (nongovernmental organizations) working in the affected area.

Subject:
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Char Bezanson, Eastview High School, Apple Valley, Minnesota
Date Added:
11/07/2014
29 Evidences for Macroevolution
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This webpage features images of hominid skulls dating from 2.6 million years ago to the present. It illustrates the similarities between skulls and demonstrates the manner in which hominid skulls have gradually evolved towards the modern homo sapiens skull.

Subject:
Life Science
Geoscience
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Douglas Theobald
Talk.Origins Archive
Date Added:
11/07/2014
Active Learning
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This site from SERC's Starting Point explains that active learning is a student centered approach in which the responsibility for learning is placed upon the student, often working in collaboration with classmates. Links to examples of Active Learning techniques are included on the site.

Subject:
Geoscience
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Cathy Manduca
Mark Francek
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Active Learning in the College Classroom
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This journal article presents a catalog of active-learning techniques aimed at fostering student learning in the context of a lecture course. The activities they discuss range from listening practices, to short writing exercises, to complex group exercises. In addition to their review of active-learning techniques, the article discusses some of the potential barriers to implementing active learning and suggests solutions.

Subject:
Education
Geoscience
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
D. Paulson
Electronic Journal on Excellence in College Teaching
J. Faust
Date Added:
11/07/2014
Active and Cooperative Learning
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This website emphasizes the strength of active learning, in which students solve problems on their own, and cooperative learning, in which students work in teams on problems under conditions that assure both positive interdependence and individual accountability, over a teacher-centered approach. It provides a list of the work of Dr. R.M. Felder, who has published extensively on this subject, as well as links to related online resources.

Subject:
Education
Geoscience
Material Type:
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
North Carolina State University
Richard M. Felder
Date Added:
11/07/2014
An Activity to Introduce the Geoscience Perspective
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This exercise is intended to connect students to geology and to remind them of the diverse ways in which people, including geoscientists, relate to rocks. Groups of students are asked to examine rock samples from specific perspectives such as sculptors, landowners or geologists, and then present relevant observations and questions. Next, individuals write one-minute papers summarizing what they have learned and evaluating the activity. On this Starting Point page, users can access information about the exercise's learning goals, context for use, teaching notes and tips, teaching materials, assessment ideas, references and topics covered.

Subject:
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Reading
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Karen Havholm
Karen Havholm (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire)
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Adhesion, Cohesion, and Surface Tension Demonstration
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This short (<5-10 minutes) pair of demonstrations uses glass slides with a very thin film of water to demonstrate the cohesive and adhesive forces of water molecules, and a needle floating on water to demonstrate surface tension.

Subject:
Education
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Simulation
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Date Added:
11/07/2014
"Adopt an Outcrop"
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In this lab, each student or small student group "adopts" a different outcrop or road cut, describing and interpreting both the outcrop scale features and hand specimens. This website provides a context for the use of this lab, and describes learning goals, teaching notes and assessment. It also includes downloadable handouts and other teaching materials.

Subject:
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Reading
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Mary Savina
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Age of the Dinosaurs
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The public undeniably loves dinosaurs. Our students turn up in droves to watch movies like "Jurassic Park." So, many colleges and universities are offering introductory Earth history classes with ...

Subject:
Geoscience
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Date Added:
11/07/2014
Alkalinity Protocol
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This site from GLOBE describes an exercise in which students learn the correct way to measure the alkalinity of water. Topics include definitions of alkaline and pH, and the importance of alkalinity in buffering acidic additions to water. Also included are lab and field guides, and examples of student research.

Subject:
Chemistry
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
GLOBE
Date Added:
11/07/2014
Allosaur Survival Game
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This online computer game deals with why allosaurs hunted as they did, as well as how. The student needs to balance the need for food for energy and growth with the risk of being savaged by one's potential prey or killed outright by another allosaur. The "Big Al" starts out as a 0.2 kg hatchling and ends up as a hunter of sauropods and a parent to the next generation of allosaurs. On this Starting Point page, users can access information about the exercise's learning goals, context for use, teaching notes and tips, teaching materials, assessment ideas, references and topics covered.

Subject:
Education
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Chemistry
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Reading
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
American Geological Institute
Rebecca Teed
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Analyzing the Antarctic Ozone Hole (College Level)
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College-level adaptation of a chapter in the Earth Exploration Toolbook. Examine satellite images of atmospheric ozone in the Southern Hemisphere to study changes in concentration over a time.

Subject:
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Brian Welch
Date Added:
11/07/2014
Annotating Satellite Images
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During this exercise, students compare a series of satellite images taken 3-4 years apart to investigate the effects of human land use and annotate the images using ImageJ software.

Subject:
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Rebecca Teed
Date Added:
11/07/2014
Arachnology Home Page
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This clearinghouse page provides links to thousands of web sites from around the world devoted to arachnids (spiders and their relatives). The links are organized into categories: researchers and societies, subjects (kids' pages, poison, spider myths, and others), arachnids by order, and specialized pages (scientific papers, image-only sites, spider silk, and others). Non-English sites are grouped by language; there are many sites in Dutch, French, German, and Spanish.

Subject:
Life Science
Geoscience
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Herman Vanuytven
University of Antwerp
Date Added:
10/21/2014
Assembling a Geologic History
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Through a higher-order integration of concepts and observations, students can combine information from several field labs, all discussed in the Starting Point collection, to construct an overall geologic history of the local region. This site details the learning goals, teaching notes and materials, method of assessment, and context of use of this lab. It also provides links to additional references and resources.

Subject:
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Reading
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Mary Savina
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Assessing Interactive Lectures
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Assessment is often viewed as a process that takes time from teaching but since most students are grade concious and will focus on learning what will be assessed, the process of formative assessment can be a ...

Subject:
Geoscience
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Date Added:
11/07/2014
Assessment
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This module outlines a variety of techniques for assessing student learning. It includes strategies for integrating assessment into different learning settings and at different points in the learning process.

Subject:
Education
Geoscience
Material Type:
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Bill Slattery
Date Added:
11/07/2014
Atmosphere
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Air Pressure, Height and Temperature. This undergraduate meteorology tutorial uses the balancing of gravity/centrifugal forces and the vertical pressure gradient with the ideal gas law to explain how pressure, ...

Subject:
Geoscience
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Date Added:
11/07/2014