2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 2:00 PM


SAMMONS, James1, MURRAY, Daniel2, WOOLF, Beverly3, MURRAY, Thomas4 and MARSHALL, David3, (1)271 Hamilton-Allenton Rd, North Kingstown, RI 02852, (2)Department of Geosciences, University of Rhode Island, 116 WOODWARD HALL, Kingston, RI 02881, (3)Computer Science, Univ of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, (4)Natural Science, Univ of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, dpmurray@uri.edu

We are designing CD-based field experiences that provide undergraduate students with a life-like opportunity to apply concepts learned in traditional course work. Based on original techniques developed by John B. Reid of Hampshire College, these modules present students with geological challenges and the tools and data sets to resolve them. They are easily adaptable to large classes from middle school through upper level undergraduate courses. The pilot version, Dr. Geo, had students explore a meander in the Tuolumne River of Yosemite National Park. Students began by preparing careful “Page 1” observations and then making “Page 2” hypotheses. An intelligent tutor monitors student progress, organizes student inquiry, provides feedback and coaching, and supports collaboration and reporting. The intelligent tutor also redirects students when they get off-track or attempt to propose unsupported ideas. Modules provide data sets and analytical tools so that students can identify key elements of scientific problems, determine and find information needed, and write clear explanations of their findings. The modules are specifically designed to operate in the background, putting the student in command of the learning process. A major part of this effort is the development of an Authoring Suite that will allow teachers to create their own modules using their own data sets. Here we present the first second-generation module, Earthquakes and Faults. This module begins by describing a road between two major cities that has been destroyed by an earthquake. Students are presented with three possible routes for a replacement road, but all three pass through combinations of four suspicious areas. As project geologists, students must evaluate the suspicious areas and prepare an engineering report with a best route recommendation.