2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 12
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM

The Math You Need When You Need It: Web-Based Modules to Help Students Succeed in Introductory Geoscience Courses

BAER, Eric M.D., Geology, Highline Community College, MS 29-3, 2400 S 240th, Des Moines, WA 98198-9800, WENNER, Jennifer M., Geology Department, Univ of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh, WI 54901 and BURN, Helen E., Mathematics Department, Highline Community College, 2400 S. 240th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198-9800, ebaer@highline.edu

Based on results of a pilot project and a faculty survey, we present several pedagogic modifications to the NSF-funded, NAGT-sponsored The Math You Need, When You Need It (TMYN) project. TMYN is a series of web-based student modules designed to provide self-paced supplemental instruction for learning of quantitative skills necessary for success in introductory geoscience courses. Each module includes instructions, solved sample problems, an assessment administered online or on paper, and an instructor's page. In addition, students take pre- and post-tests to determine which modules they need to complete.

Modifications to modules and assessments, such as pre- and post-tests and graded quizzes, were made based on the piloting of a one-credit co-requisite online course that paralleled Geology 101 at Highline Community College. Initial assessment of the modules used in conjunction with a geoscience course suggests that some students continue to need close supervision and face-to-face support. Student comments emphasize the need for transparency about the purpose of completing the modules and thorough integration between course content and modules. We introduce several new modules designed to make integration easier by providing multiple opportunities for both faculty and students to use quantitative skills in the context of geology. Because this project should be useful to a significant number of educators, new module topics were based on results of a worldwide survey in which faculty were asked to select topics most relevant to their course(s). Faculty have a variety of options for implementing these modules as a part of a geoscience course, from using one module to integrating all modules into a single course or offering a shadow online course. We will share several ideas about options for using these modules and ways to adapt them to fit your course and your students.