Paper No. 153-6
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-1:00 PM
WATER IN SOCIETY: A FIVE-YEAR EVALUATION STUDY OF AN INTERDISCIPLINARY COURSE TO SUPPORT UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS' WATER LITERACY
To prepare students to address water-related challenges, undergraduate courses must provide them with opportunities to learn and reason about water issues. Water in Society is an introductory-level, innovative, and interdisciplinary undergraduate course offered annually at a large mid-western university from 2017 to 2021. The course focuses on both disciplinary concepts and civic engagement, and is designed around a variety of interactive, research-based practices to support students’ learning, engagement with authentic data, scientific models and modeling, and collaboration and learning among peers. This study aims to evaluate, “how have students’ outcomes and perceptions changed over five years of the course?”. The results are based on data from students (n=326) in five consecutive years of the course. Each year, students’ satisfaction with the course improved, though the transition to an online and fully asynchronous course model as a response to COVID19 may have impacted the instructor-student and student-student interactions. Multiple measures are used to evaluate students’ learning about water content knowledge, and model-based reasoning. By the end of each iteration of the course, students improved their knowledge of hydrologic concepts, independent of their initial level. Students may need more guidance to use and interpret the results from the computer-based water model to address socio-scientific issues for water challenges, especially in an online setting.