Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 1:45 PM


YARBROUGH, Lance D., Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering, University of North Dakota, 81 Cornell Street Stop 8358, Grand Forks, ND 58202,

The University of North Dakota has been conducting asynchronous teaching modes for many years. Beginning in the early 1990’s, the College of Engineering & Mines’ distance education began with sending recorded lectures via postal service on VHS media to industry partners. The technology has progressed to lecture-capture software integrated with other pedagogical tools (e.g. BlackBoard, Adobe Presenter). Only recently have these technologies been applied to geology-related courses in the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering.

Beginning in 2011, the College of Engineering and Mines developed the Petroleum Engineering undergraduate degree program. Building on preexisting strengths of the Geological Engineering degree program, and listening to the needs of the industry advisory boards and alumni, the new Petroleum Engineering curriculum emphasizes more geology and entrepreneurial coursework than most other similar programs. As such, there is increased demand for geology courses and a need to develop additional delivery modes for distance students.

Earth Dynamics is 4-credit hour introductory geology course designed specifically for engineering and geology majors that includes a hands-on laboratory. In response to a 13-fold increase in enrollment for this class, and a desire to improve student learning, new pedagogies have been adopted and will continue to evolve. Use of a partial flipped style of instruction was a dominant strategy, whereby instruction was provided outside normal class time for specific topics. Tools like third-party video productions or time-lapse presentations were used to provide additional instruction for topics such as derivations of fundamental equations or cases studies. To be clear, responsibility for viewing this content was transferred to the student to complete in their own time. Online laboratory material was also converted to provide a flipped environment. During normal class or laboratory time, content was reinforced using group work or exercises designed to promote high-cognitive learning. As enrollment increases for both delivery modes (on-campus and distance), the benefits of flipping course content becomes more evident.