Network Oceanography, Moving Hands On Pedagogy to the Internet

Project: Research project

Project Details


(43) Geological Sciences

This project, while building on a foundation of materials and pedagogy developed with prior NSF support, creates a modern, inquiry-oriented, internet-based general education oceanography class and provides an environment for conducting research on student learning. In this large class environment, students engage in realistic data-driven scientific investigations. Students pose a problem, collect data using Prothero's NSF-funded, CD-ROM, 'Our Dynamic Planet', and write a scientific paper based on their work. This presents science as an interesting, dynamic, and socially relevant field by teaching science process as well as science content, and making connections between science, society, and the future well being of our planet. The focus of inquiry-based activities is broadened beyond the current focus on plate tectonics and will include the Earth's climate and oceans and the world fisheries. Incorporated into all the activities will be: a) a virtual science workshop where students interactively participate and contribute their own presentations, b) interactive online writing and critical-thinking software, and c) a web implementation of existing class management Software. Flexibility in the software tools allows for modification and/or expansion to fit a range of student, instructor, and institutional needs and emphases. Student access is increased by replacing local network connectivity with internet and browser based networking. Students on campus will have the option of taking the course completely online which also support access to students and instructors at other institutions. All client-side software will work on Macintosh and PC computers, and server-side software will operate on Unix, Macintosh, or PC servers. Evaluation of the course and materials will begin in Spring of 2001. This study focuses on: a) whether student learning differs in online versus face-to-face environments and b) how student motivation, background and other variables affect learning in these environments. Assessment of student learning will be based on analyses of student responses incorporated into a School of Education Ph.D. thesis.

Effective start/end date4/15/009/30/02


  • National Science Foundation: $100,934.00


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