“This experience allowed me to view my class from a fresh new perspective. Based on student feedback, it made the course much more fun and engaging for the students. Most surprisingly perhaps was that I found this to be an overall very enjoyable experience.”

Course: Earth Systems in a Changing World

Department: Marine Sciences


I incorporated a lot of what I wanted to add. I introduced it a little at a time and the semester was half way over before I established a routine that was comfortable. I embedded into the short (15 min) lectures on new materials and that worked well. I am still trying to find the best way to incorporate interactive materials into the class but it is much better than before. The “science in the news” activity was a real hit and helped to make the course content feel very current and cutting edge. After a slow start, I abandoned the idea of making videos to post on Sakai. I started too late and could not afford the time needed to do this. Overall, I think that the redesign was very successful. I enjoyed teaching a lot more and the students seemed to be engaged and interested most of the time. A synthesis discussion at the end of the semester left me very impressed how much all students learned that will be useful to them as citizens.

Course Description

An introductory examination of the origins of and interactions between the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere that together make up the Earth Systems. Special emphasis is given to understanding present-day global change from a whole Earth perspective, with insights drawn from past global changes. Typical enrollment is 40 students and the academic level of students range from first year to seniors, with the largest group being juniors and seniors.

Projected Design Elements

-Poll Everywhere
-Small and large group activities that engage the students
-Replace long lectures with focused materials (graphs, pictures, questions) that are less detailed but help clarify the main concepts.
-Create an atmosphere where students are not hesitant to participate (ask and answer questions).
-Vimeo or some form of video lecture of my own supplement reading and video materials that I get from online sources.

Incorporated Design Elements

-Group Activities
-Poll Everywhere
-Research-based assignments (small individual projects)
-Earth Science in the News: discuss articles in magazines and newspapers that focus on Earth Science or Global Change

Program: Finish Line Project

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