TEACHING THE GEOLOGY OF NEW ORLEANS AFTER COMPLETING AN IDIG WORKSHOP
Dr. William Craig was the lead instructor for the class and he was assisted by the other 3 workshop participants and later by new faculty with specialties in coastal processes. The class was taught continuously for 5 years and has not been offered recently because none of us feel we can do as well as Bill Craig did with the class. It typically had an enrollment of approximately 25 students, compared to the 500-800 students who enroll in the Physical Geology courses each semester. The small enrollment reflects the fact that we do not require the lab class with our Physical Geology class and the difficulty of scheduling the large time blocks twice a week. Despite the modest number of students, we got several majors each semester from the class and even the students who did not become majors usually chose to take additional geology classes. We are now considering teaching the class again as part of a new effort to recruit majors into geology and to generate more interest in the local geology. One definite outcome from this workshop is that we can no longer stand in front of a class and just lecture. We have incorporated most of the things we learned from IDIG into our teaching styles and it seems to be working well.