GOOGLE EARTH LECTURES AND SOCIAL JUSTICE PROJECTS: USING TWO NOVEL TEACHING APPROACHES TO ENGAGE UNDERGRADUATE NON-MAJORS
The second strategy that I used was integrating social justice issues with learning earthquake concepts. The overall goal was to cover specific content and stimulate awareness of how geologic hazards can have variable impacts, frequently felt more intensely by poorer or at risk citizens. In the earthquakes of the PNW course students participated in a jigsaw activity reading short articles on large seismic events and participating in group discussions aimed at comparing the impacts and recovery efforts for the different events. The group then explored potential reasons for the disparity in impacts and recovery efforts for different earthquakes. Although students reported that this was an engaging and useful activity, implementation in large class in a standard classroom was difficult. I used a similar activity for a physical geology class for non-majors that had 24 students. Students spent time investigating the history, economics, geologic setting and seismic history of the country. Each group produced a presentation that was delivered at the end of the section on earthquakes. This activity worked much better; students spent lab time conducting research, interacting with the group and seeking my input. Overall the presentations were excellent and students’ reported high satisfaction with both learning earthquake content and gaining a perspective on inequities of impacts and recovery efforts.