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Iowa State University

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

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Articles 1 - 27 of 27

Full-Text Articles in Education

Combining Academics And Social Engagement: A Major-Specific Early Alert Method To Counter Student Attrition In Science, Technology, Engineering, And Mathematics, Andrew J. Sage, Cinzia Cervato, Ulrike Genschel, Craig Ogilvie Jun 2018

Combining Academics And Social Engagement: A Major-Specific Early Alert Method To Counter Student Attrition In Science, Technology, Engineering, And Mathematics, Andrew J. Sage, Cinzia Cervato, Ulrike Genschel, Craig Ogilvie

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

Students are most likely to leave science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors during their first year of college. We developed an analytic approach using random forests to identify at-risk students. This method is deployable midway through the first semester and accounts for academic preparation, early engagement in university life, and performance on midterm exams. By accounting for cognitive and noncognitive factors, our method achieves stronger predictive performance than would be possible using cognitive or noncognitive factors alone. We show that it is more difficult to predict whether students will leave STEM than whether they will leave the institution. More ...


Physical Experiments Of Tectonic Deformation And Processes: Building A Strong Community, Michael L. Cooke, Jacqueline E. Reber, Saad Haq Dec 2016

Physical Experiments Of Tectonic Deformation And Processes: Building A Strong Community, Michael L. Cooke, Jacqueline E. Reber, Saad Haq

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

The recent revolution in the analysis of physical experiments of tectonic processes has provided new quantitative tools to analyze their outcomes. Physical experiments using scaled analog models are unique in providing information on complex three-dimensional deformation where processes can be directly observed. These observations critically complement insights gained from field and analytical/numerical investigations. Recent innovations in rheologic testing, digital image processing, and data collection are revolutionizing how we use experiments to provide insight into crustal deformation. At the same time, we are seeing the benefits of physical experiments in classroom teaching by engaging students in hypothesis testing and hands-on ...


Quantifying The Level Of Inquiry In A Reformed Introductory Geology Lab Course, Elizabeth Moss, Cinzia Cervato May 2016

Quantifying The Level Of Inquiry In A Reformed Introductory Geology Lab Course, Elizabeth Moss, Cinzia Cervato

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

As part of a campus-wide effort to transform introductory science courses to be more engaging and more accurately convey the excitement of discovery in science, the curriculum of an introductory physical geology lab course was redesigned. What had been a series of “cookbook” lab activities was transformed into a sequence of activities based on scientific inquiry and cooperative learning. The first two semesters were spent developing and implementing the new lab activities, and two more semesters were spent refining them. In the second semester of each of these two phases, students enrolled in the lab completed a 15-question version of ...


Understanding Atmospheric Carbon Budgets: Teaching Students Conservation Of Mass, Collin Peter Reichert, Cinzia Cervato, Dale Niederhauser, Michael D. Larsen Aug 2015

Understanding Atmospheric Carbon Budgets: Teaching Students Conservation Of Mass, Collin Peter Reichert, Cinzia Cervato, Dale Niederhauser, Michael D. Larsen

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

In this paper we describe student use of a series of connected online problem-solving activities to remediate atmospheric carbon budget misconceptions held by undergraduate university students. In particular, activities were designed to address a common misconception about conservation of mass when students assume a simplistic, direct relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and carbon emissions. This particular misconception was challenged through an instructional intervention applying constructivist learning theory principles in an effort to prompt cognitive dissonance and induce conceptual change. This study is based on 1 y of data collected from a survey completed by introductory physical geology students (n ...


Earth Wind & Fire: A Learning Community Approach To Build Ties Between Degree Programs In A Geoscience Department, Cinzia Cervato, David Flory Feb 2015

Earth Wind & Fire: A Learning Community Approach To Build Ties Between Degree Programs In A Geoscience Department, Cinzia Cervato, David Flory

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

We describe the components of a learning community program for meteorology, geology, and Earth Science undergraduates in a geoscience department. The learning community provides the students with opportunities to interact with each other and with faculty, and it helps them in the transition from high school to a large public university. Enrollment data show that, in addition to being a successful community-building approach, the learning community has a positive impact in major retention to the programs and is well received by the students.


It Takes A Village To Make A Scientist: Reflections Of A Faculty Learning Community, Cinzia Cervato, William A. Gallus Jr., Michael Slade, Steven Kawaler, Massimo Marengo, L. Keith Woo, Barbara Minkema Krumhardt, David Flory, Michael P. Clough, Alexis Ann Campbell, Elizabeth L. Moss, Martin Acerbo Jan 2015

It Takes A Village To Make A Scientist: Reflections Of A Faculty Learning Community, Cinzia Cervato, William A. Gallus Jr., Michael Slade, Steven Kawaler, Massimo Marengo, L. Keith Woo, Barbara Minkema Krumhardt, David Flory, Michael P. Clough, Alexis Ann Campbell, Elizabeth L. Moss, Martin Acerbo

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

Lab components of undergraduate science courses typically have students complete highly directed cookbook-like laboratory activities. These experiences rarely engage students in a meaningful manner and do not accurately convey what the work of science entails. With funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), we have created more authentic science research experiences in a variety of undergraduate science courses, including introductory courses. Achieving this among the diversity of freshmen and sophomore science courses—each typically serving hundreds of students on our campus—required careful planning and adaptation. This article describes the many challenges we faced in our effort to create ...


Conceptions Of Atmospheric Carbon Budgets: Undergraduate Students' Perceptions Of Mass Balance, Collin Peter Reichert, Cinzia Cervato, Michael Larsen, Dale Niederhauser Aug 2014

Conceptions Of Atmospheric Carbon Budgets: Undergraduate Students' Perceptions Of Mass Balance, Collin Peter Reichert, Cinzia Cervato, Michael Larsen, Dale Niederhauser

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

With recent U.S. government efforts to develop policy procedures for addressing climate change, public understanding of basic aspects of climate change is imperative in order for people to understand such policy. However, widespread misconceptions of basic atmospheric principles exist among the public. In this study, we document levels of misunderstanding that undergraduate students at a large U.S. research institution have with respect to atmospheric carbon budgets and factors that may account for variability in their understanding. Students enrolled in an introductory geology course (n = 947) completed a survey on atmospheric carbon budgets in two sequential semesters. Results indicated ...


Assessment In Online Learning: It’S A Matter Of Time, Charles Kerton, Cinzia Cervato Jan 2014

Assessment In Online Learning: It’S A Matter Of Time, Charles Kerton, Cinzia Cervato

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

Taking online courses is becoming a more common part of the college experience, but very little is known about student behaviors and strategies related to online assessment. This article reviews how students in an online Earth and Space Science course interact with various online assessments. Our two main findings are that our students do not use self-assessment tools effectively, and time spent on online exams is surprisingly short. We discuss how the use of selfassessment tools can probably be improved through careful online course design, but the short time spent on online exams is partially due to the nature of ...


Weather Forecasting As A Learning Tool In A Large Service Course: Does Practice Make Perfect?, Elizabeth J. Suess, Cinzia Cervato, William A. Gallus Jr., Jonathan M. Hobbs Jun 2013

Weather Forecasting As A Learning Tool In A Large Service Course: Does Practice Make Perfect?, Elizabeth J. Suess, Cinzia Cervato, William A. Gallus Jr., Jonathan M. Hobbs

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

Each spring roughly 200 students, mostly nonmajors, enroll in the Introduction to Meteorology course at Iowa State University and are required to make at least 25 forecasts throughout the semester. The Dynamic Weather Forecaster (DWF) forecasting platform requires students to forecast more than just simple ‘‘numeric’’ forecasts and includes questions on advection, cloudiness, and precipitation factors that are not included in forecast contests often used in meteorology courses. The present study examines the evolution of forecasting skill for students enrolled in the class in spring 2010 and 2011 and compares student performance with that of an ‘‘expert forecaster.’’ The expert ...


The Big Crunch: A Hybrid Solution To Earth And Space Science Instruction For Elementary Education Majors, Cinzia Cervato, Charles Kerton, Andrea Peer, Lesya M. Hassall, Allan Schmidt May 2013

The Big Crunch: A Hybrid Solution To Earth And Space Science Instruction For Elementary Education Majors, Cinzia Cervato, Charles Kerton, Andrea Peer, Lesya M. Hassall, Allan Schmidt

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

We describe the rationale and process for the development of a new hybrid Earth and Space Science course for elementary education majors. A five-step course design model, applicable to both online and traditional courses, is presented. Assessment of the course outcomes after two semesters indicates that the intensive time invested in the development of the course results in a manageable workload during the semester for faculty with an already full teaching load. We also found that average scores in proctored online exams for this cohort of students are identical to the average scores of students from the same major enrolled ...


Turning The Tables: Assigning Reflective Writing In An Introductory Earth And Space Science Course With Pre-Service Teachers Who Don't Like Science, Cinzia Cervato, Charles Kerton Apr 2013

Turning The Tables: Assigning Reflective Writing In An Introductory Earth And Space Science Course With Pre-Service Teachers Who Don't Like Science, Cinzia Cervato, Charles Kerton

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

Political official in some states are beginning to recognize the need for Earth and Space science education across the K-12 curriculum. Case in point: In 2010 Iowa changed teacher certification requirements of K-5 education so that they include a three-credit Earth and Space Science (E&SS) course. In response to this requirement, we developed a hybrid course consisting of a two-credit online component and a one-credit, two-hour lab that could serve as a model for others. The students enrolled in this introductory-level course are primarily freshman and sophomore elementary education majors. Because of lab space limitations and in order to ...


Does Students’ Source Of Knowledge Affect Their Understanding Of Volcanic Systems?, Thomas Lyle Parham, Cinzia Cervato, William A. Gallus Jr., Michael Larsen, Jonathan M. Hobbs, Thomas J. Greenbowe Jan 2011

Does Students’ Source Of Knowledge Affect Their Understanding Of Volcanic Systems?, Thomas Lyle Parham, Cinzia Cervato, William A. Gallus Jr., Michael Larsen, Jonathan M. Hobbs, Thomas J. Greenbowe

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

A recent survey of undergraduates at five schools across the United States indicates that many undergraduates feel that they have learned more about volcanic systems from Hollywood films and the popular media than they learned in the course of their precollegiate formal education. Scores on the Volcanic Concept Survey, an instrument designed to measure conceptual understanding of volcanic processes and hazards, shows that students who learned about volcanoes from nontraditional sources, such as films and popular media, scored significantly lower than their peers who learned from more traditional sources, such as in formal classroom settings or via personal experience. This ...


The Invest Volcanic Concept Survey: Exploring Student Understanding About Volcanoes, Thomas Lyle Parham, Cinzia Cervato, William A. Gallus Jr., Michael Larsen, Jonathan M. Hobbs, Pete Stelling, Tanya Gupta, John A. Knox, Thomas E. Gill May 2010

The Invest Volcanic Concept Survey: Exploring Student Understanding About Volcanoes, Thomas Lyle Parham, Cinzia Cervato, William A. Gallus Jr., Michael Larsen, Jonathan M. Hobbs, Pete Stelling, Tanya Gupta, John A. Knox, Thomas E. Gill

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

Results from the Volcanic Concept Survey (VCS) indicated that many undergraduates do not fully understand volcanic systems and plate tectonics. During the 2006 academic year, a ten-item conceptual survey was distributed to undergraduate students enrolled in Earth science courses at five U.S. colleges and universities. A trained team of graders scored 672 completed surveys, coding responses to each item with a score, out of 3, based on accuracy and comprehensiveness. Questions requiring only basic content knowledge (e.g., terminology, volcano topology) received more high scoring responses than questions requiring higher thinking and deeper conceptual connections (association with plate tectonics ...


Calibrated Peer Review Assignments For The Earth Sciences, James A. Rudd Ii, Vivian Z. Wang, Cinzia Cervato, Robert W. Ridky Nov 2009

Calibrated Peer Review Assignments For The Earth Sciences, James A. Rudd Ii, Vivian Z. Wang, Cinzia Cervato, Robert W. Ridky

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

Calibrated Peer Review ™ (CPR), a web-based instructional tool developed as part of the National Science Foundation reform initiatives in undergraduate science education, allows instructors to incorporate multiple writing assignments in large courses without overwhelming the instructor. This study reports successful implementation of CPR in a large, introductory geology course and student learning of geoscience content. For each CPR assignment in this study, students studied web-based and paper resources, wrote an essay, and reviewed seven essays (three from the instructor, three from peers, and their own) on the topic. Although many students expressed negative attitudes and concerns, particularly about the peer ...


Diagnostic Testing Of Introductory Geology Students, Cinzia Cervato, James A. Rudd Ii, Vivian Z. Wang Nov 2007

Diagnostic Testing Of Introductory Geology Students, Cinzia Cervato, James A. Rudd Ii, Vivian Z. Wang

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

A diagnostic test for assessing the general and Earth science knowledge of entry-level college students was administered to 451 students in 2002 and 401 students in 2003 enrolled in an introductory geology course at Iowa State University. The study shows that male students, seniors, and science-technology-math majors score higher than female students, freshmen, and non-science-technology-math majors and that the differences are statistically significant. Also, students who scored higher on the diagnostic test were more likely to pass the course. The results support the feasibility of a standardized diagnostic test as a tool for geoscience instructors for curriculum planning, student advising ...


A Virtual Tornadic Thunderstorm Enabling Students To Construct Knowledge About Storm Dynamics Through Data Collection And Analysis, William A. Gallus Jr., Cinzia Cervato, Carolina Cruz-Neira, Galen William Faidley Jan 2006

A Virtual Tornadic Thunderstorm Enabling Students To Construct Knowledge About Storm Dynamics Through Data Collection And Analysis, William A. Gallus Jr., Cinzia Cervato, Carolina Cruz-Neira, Galen William Faidley

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

A visually realistic tornadic supercell thunderstorm has been constructed in a fully immersive virtual reality environment to allow students to better understand the complex small-scale dynamics present in such a storm through data probing. Less-immersive versions have been created that run on PCs, facilitating broader dissemination. The activity has been tested in introductory meteorology classes over the last four years. An exercise involving the virtual storm was first used by a subset of students from a large introductory meteorology course in spring 2002. Surveys were used at that time to evaluate the impact of this activity as a constructivist learning ...


Promoting Atmospheric, Earth, And Space Sciences In Higher Education, Eugene S. Takle, Donald J. Wuebbles Jul 2005

Promoting Atmospheric, Earth, And Space Sciences In Higher Education, Eugene S. Takle, Donald J. Wuebbles

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

No abstract provided.


Tackling Strategies For Thriving Geoscience Departments, Donald J. Wuebbles, Eugene S. Takle May 2005

Tackling Strategies For Thriving Geoscience Departments, Donald J. Wuebbles, Eugene S. Takle

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

Special sessions on thriving geosciences departments and on cyberinfrastructure in the geosciences highlighted the recent 5th AGU Meeting of Heads and Chairs of Earth and Space Science Departments. The meeting was held in conjunction with the 14th meeting of the Heads and Chairs of Programs in Atmospheric, Oceanic, Hydrologic and Related Sciences, sponsored by the American Meteorological Society (AMS),and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

“From Surviving to Thriving: Strategies for Advancing University Geoscience Programs in Times of Change” was a topic that drew intense interest. This panel discussion, led by Don Wuebbles (University of Illinois), included panelists ...


Investigating Knowledge Building Dialogues In Networked Communities Of Practice. A Collaborative Learning Endeavor Across Cultures, Elsebeth K. Sorensen, Eugene S. Takle Apr 2005

Investigating Knowledge Building Dialogues In Networked Communities Of Practice. A Collaborative Learning Endeavor Across Cultures, Elsebeth K. Sorensen, Eugene S. Takle

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

We have analyzed data from two online courses, designed to promote collaborative online learning, and in the contexts of two different cultures. Ongoing assessment (self, group, instructor) that actively engages students within the course (as opposed to instructor assessment at the end) is a central feature for achieving collaborative knowledge building in online dialog. Careful articulation and deployment of assessment criteria is a design feature that promotes meta-awareness, which, in turn, together with student-centeredness and operationalization of student experiences in the design of the curriculum, enhances student participation, motivation and ownership in the dialog. From eight years of experience with ...


Learning Storm Dynamics With A Virtual Thunderstorm, William A. Gallus Jr., Cinzia Cervato, Carolina Cruz-Neira, Galen William Faidley, Rex Heer Feb 2005

Learning Storm Dynamics With A Virtual Thunderstorm, William A. Gallus Jr., Cinzia Cervato, Carolina Cruz-Neira, Galen William Faidley, Rex Heer

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

The virtual supercell thunderstorm, scaled to match those commonly observed, can be viewed in a highly immersive CAVE™-like environment (a projection-based virtual reality environment) or on a desktop PC. The virtual storm represents an instant in time during the mature, roughly steady-state stage of a tornadic supercell, and includes such visually realistic features as a wall cloud, tornado, tail cloud, comma-shaped rain region, anvil cloud, mammatus, rear-flank downdraft clear slot, and shelf cloud. Audio representing the roar of the tornado, thunder, rain of varying intensity, and hail has been included.


Attitude Toward Learning Science Of Students In Introductory Geology Courses, Joan Y. Jach, Cinzia Cervato Jan 2004

Attitude Toward Learning Science Of Students In Introductory Geology Courses, Joan Y. Jach, Cinzia Cervato

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

Research into attitudes in science focuses largely on determining if certain instruction methods affect student attitude and there is a broad range of opinions as to what attitude means and how to study it. We have analyzed the attitude of students enrolled into two introductory geology classes with the goal to test if demographic factors and success in the class play a significant role in determining students attitude towards science and learning science. A pre-test and a post-test Likert-type attitude questionnaire were administered to two introductory Geology classes at Iowa State University during the Autumn semester 2002. Results were analyzed ...


Getting Help From Course Management Software To Teach A Large-Enrollment Introductory Geology Class, Cinzia Cervato Mar 2003

Getting Help From Course Management Software To Teach A Large-Enrollment Introductory Geology Class, Cinzia Cervato

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

Course management software allows instructors to introduce an Internet-based component to their classroom teaching even without any prior knowledge of HTML language. I used one of the most widely available software, WebCT, for two introductory geology classes of approximately 250 students each at Iowa State University in fall 2001. The software is easy to use and I established a variety of content and communication tools in less than a day, using the procedure described in the paper. Student responses to the use of WebCT were in general positive and they especially liked the opportunity to communicate with me, to keep ...


Collaborative Knowledge Building In Web-Based Learning: Assessing The Quality Of Dialogue, Elsebeth K. Sorensen, Eugene S. Takle Jan 2002

Collaborative Knowledge Building In Web-Based Learning: Assessing The Quality Of Dialogue, Elsebeth K. Sorensen, Eugene S. Takle

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

This paper addresses the question of how to qualify a knowledge building dialogue in web-based collaborative learning. It investigates the idea of qualifying the dialogue through grading requirements and through providing students with meta-awareness around their dialogue. We investigate and analyze the changes in quality of student interaction in three different deliveries of the course that emerge in response to three different types of instruction on expected behavior. From this we draw preliminary conclusions on the extent to which descriptions of expected behavior influence the interactive process and the quality of the interaction.


Cscl: Structuring The Past, Present And Future Through Virtual Portfolios, Elsebeth K. Sorensen, Eugene Takle, Michael R. Taber, Douglas Fils Jan 2002

Cscl: Structuring The Past, Present And Future Through Virtual Portfolios, Elsebeth K. Sorensen, Eugene Takle, Michael R. Taber, Douglas Fils

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

Web-based processes of learning and collaboration produce an enlarged structural opportunity at many levels. Careful structuring of the virtual space supports and adds quality to both collaborative learning between students, and to instruction. Such enhancement in quality may take place through use of individual and collaborative spaces for learning activities, overview of process and content, increased clarity of learning expectations, and facilitation of collaborative and individual processes of reflection and self-reflection. This chapter investigates the structuring potential of a virtual version of portfolios for supporting these aspects. It discusses the conceptual and structural complexity associated with design and use of ...


University Instruction In Observational Techniques: Survey Responses, Eugene S. Takle Jun 2000

University Instruction In Observational Techniques: Survey Responses, Eugene S. Takle

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

A 1987 survey of the atmospheric and oceanic science community on university instruction in instrumentation and observations revealed that an apparent imbalance existed between observational and theoretical/numerical components of the atmospheric sciences. The committee analyzing the survey results identified several factors contributing to the perceived imbalance. From a follow—up survey conducted of the same community in 1997 to assess the level of change over 10 years, it is found that some progress has been achieved over this period, but that more can be done. Rather than try to implement all of the recommendations from analysis of the initial ...


A Forecasting Activity For A Large Introductory Meteorology Course, Douglas N. Yarger, William A. Gallus Jr., Michael Taber, J. Peter Boysen, Paul Castleberry Jan 2000

A Forecasting Activity For A Large Introductory Meteorology Course, Douglas N. Yarger, William A. Gallus Jr., Michael Taber, J. Peter Boysen, Paul Castleberry

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

A large lecture introductory course at Iowa State University has used a forecasting activity since 1993 to actively engage students in doing science. This automatically scored Web-based activity requires students to evaluate selected weather parameters and to also select appropriate physical reasons for their values. Participants can select from more than 1000 cities in the United States for their forecast city. This activity engages students in doing what practicing meteorologists do. Further, forecast scores demonstrate increased understanding throughout the course. Design considerations were based on constructivist learning theory in order to address goals articulated by national panels; to promote problem ...


Study On Observational Systems: A Review Of Meteorological And Oceanographic Education In Observational Techniques And The Relationship To National Facilities And Needs, Robert Serafin, Brian Heikes, Douglas Sargeant, William Smith, Eugene Takle, Roger Wakimoto Jan 1991

Study On Observational Systems: A Review Of Meteorological And Oceanographic Education In Observational Techniques And The Relationship To National Facilities And Needs, Robert Serafin, Brian Heikes, Douglas Sargeant, William Smith, Eugene Takle, Roger Wakimoto

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications

Meteorological and oceanographic education in observational techniques and the relationship to national facilities' needs are reviewed. The significance of measurement science and its relationship to national capabilities are examined. Opportunities for the enhancement of national capabilities related to the application of measurement science to meteorology and oceanography are identified and recommendations for action are presented.