I have likely mentioned before that I teach an online course each year – EOSC 311 – The Earth and its Resources. The course is designed for students who are not majoring in science. I focus on geological processes that relate to the Vancouver Region. Since Vancouver is essentially the most amazing geological laboratory in the wold (a little bias showing) we can and do cover a wide range of topics. Two of the core objectives of the course are:
- To understand the processes that shaped the origin and distribution of the earth materials in the Vancouver region (southwestern BC).
- To be able to apply those recognition skills and understanding of earth process to other regions.
One of the ways they apply the concepts to other regions is to ask them to research an area outside of the Vancouver region. A challenge I face every year is helping students with “getting started” on these term papers. Where does one find reliable science (particularly geoscience) sources?
This year I teamed up with Sally Taylor, one of our Science Librarians (in the Woodward Biomedical Library) and Brian Lamb to do a podcast interview. I can’t thank the two of them enough for their help with this — it turned out really well!
The process was amazingly simple! I forwarded the outline of the paper to Sally, and she put together an outline in the form of questions; I modified some of them and added one or two questions from my students. My particular concern was on distance students – students that we cannot assume will be able to visit the physical library. We sat down for about a half an hour and did the interview in one take. Brian taped and edited the interview. In addition, Brian put together a wiki where more information could be found. I was really surprised at the easiness of it all!
(Wait, should I be saying things like that?)
If you are interested in the final product, the links are below. People are welcome to link to them if you find them helpful.
The wiki is linked here..
Brian has said this before… and I agree… Librarians are amazing… If you are thinking of how you might create an engaging resource for your students.. team up with librarians and your local learning technology specialists.
Thanks again, Sally and Brian!