2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)

Paper No. 11
Presentation Time: 10:50 AM


GRAZIANO, Robert J., Department of Geosciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Lapham Hall, 3209 N. Maryland Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211 and KOCH, Zelenda J., Dept. of Geosciences, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201, graziano@uwm.edu

A detailed comparison of student learning with student satisfaction in the laboratory setting of a large (400+ students) physical geology course, consisting of approximately 90% non-science students, was completed to evaluate the benefits of newly-adopted 3D-visualization technologies in the lab class setting. Student census data and satisfaction surveys were completed before, during and after new 3D-visualization technologies were implemented. Student census and satisfaction survey data were compared to student assessment data to determine which factors correlate best with student learning. Student satisfaction data were also compared to specific student assessment results in lessons or exams involving the use of 3D-visualization technologies.

Findings of the correlation of student satisfaction data with learning data yielded conclusions that were reasonably consistent with predictions of lab instructors; however, certain unique comparisons of student satisfaction data with student assessment data yielded unexpected findings. For example, students given the opportunity to use a 3D-topographic modeling program vs. standard topographic maps did not consistently prefer one or the other teaching method, and did not consistently score better having used one or the other method. The investigation also revealed a statistical bias in student satisfaction among students with comparatively better grades. Correlations of satisfaction or learning data among students of differing age or gender revealed consistently reliable data. Further investigation of these data sets during the 09’/10’ academic year are expected to yield even more statistically reliable conclusions.