An update on GeoScience Videos and our new course outline resources

Since out last update we have added four new videos to the collection that all focus on topics that may come relatively early in the semester (Figure 1). In Defining Geology we discuss what we mean when we talk about geology and explain how people interact with geology in their daily lives. The Earth System video describes the four main components of the Earth system (atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere), how matter is exchanged between the components, and how a change in one part of the system will result in changes in other system components. The video on the 8 Reasons for Complex Life on Earth describes an array of circumstances that make it possible for complex beings like us to live on this planet. While some of the reasons for life on Earth may be obvious to our students, others may be surprising. All of these natural factors line up just right to put us in the right location in space, generate a diversity of physical environments, and provide the mix of air and water we need for survival. Finally, the Continental Drift video describes the evidence that Alfred Wegener used to formulate his continental drift hypothesis and examines why this idea did not gain wide acceptance when it was originally proposed. We had a little help with this one, as we were able to incorporate a great animation of the breakup of Pangaea from our colleagues at geode.net.

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 10.04.38 AMFigure 1: New GeoScience Videos; Defining Geology, 8 Reasons for Complex Life on Earth, Continental Drift and The Earth System.

In addition to the videos themselves, friends of this blog will know that we have also been curating additional resources to support instruction that you can find right here. In addition to providing quizzes, in-class questions, activities and annotated resources we have started providing class outlines. Class outlines include a brief overview of how the face-to-face class is run with the addition of the videos as a pre-class activity. These resources include how the face-to-face class starts with a review of the learning objectives from both the video and class lesson. Then students then typically answer a few conceptests (conceptual multiple choice questions) and/or complete a short exercise to allow the instructor to confirm comprehension of the concepts covered in the video. The instructor spends most of the class period alternating between presenting information and short activities. The class often ends with a reflection exercise, and a reminder of the day’s learning objectives.

Keep an eye open for new videos and additional resources on the blog! Please drop us a line and tell us how you use using everything in your classes! Hope everyone is having a great semester!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Continental Drift

Learning Objectives

  1. I can describe observations that Alfred Wegener used to develop the continental drift hypothesis.
  2. I can explain why continental drift was not widely accepted.

This video describes the evidence Alfred Wegener used to formulate his continental drift hypothesis and examines why this idea did not gain wide acceptance when it was originally proposed. Wegener pursued four lines of evidence to support continental drift and the existence of the supercontinent, Pangaea. His evidence included the fit of the continents, matching features between now separated land masses, reconstructions of past climates, and the distribution of several fossil species.

Try the quiz to see how well you learned the material:Continental Drift Quiz

 

The Earth System

Learning Objectives:

  1. I can describe the four main components of the Earth system.
  2. I can explain how matter is exchanged between these components.
  3. I can use carbon to illustrate how relationships between the components may change over time.

This video describes the four main components of the Earth system (atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere), how matter is exchanged between the components, and how a change in some aspect of one part of the system will result in changes in other system components. We describe the Earth system in terms of reservoirs and flux between them and discuss how the movement of carbon occurs between system components.

Below the video is a link to a short quiz with some assessment questions that can be used to measure learning after watching the video. Good Luck!

Try the quiz to see how well you learned the material:The Earth System Quiz

Defining Geology

Learning Objectives:

  1. I can define the term geology.
  2. I can explain how people interact with geology in their lives.

This video describes what we mean when we talk about geology. We define the term and explain how people interact with geology in their daily lives.

Below the video is a link to a short quiz with some assessment questions that can be used to measure learning after watching the video. Good Luck!

Try the quiz to see how well you learned the material: Defining Geology Quiz

8 Reasons for Complex Life on Earth

Learning Objectives:

I can explain how: 1) Earth’s position in space; 2) its internal heat; and 3) the character of its atmosphere make it the only known planet that supports complex life.

This video looks at a set of eight different conditions that contribute to complex life on Earth. Four of the conditions are related to Earth’s position in space and its relationship with the sun and moon, two are related to the hot interior of the planet, and another couple are tied to the composition of Earth’s atmosphere.

Below the video is a link to a short quiz with some assessment questions that can be used to measure learning after watching the video. Good Luck!

Try the quiz to see how well you learned the material:8 Reasons Quiz

An update on GeoScience Videos and our new annotated video resources

Since the inception of the GeoScience Videos YouTube channel in fall 2014 we have continued to add to the collection of videos! There are now more than 30 videos (Figure 1) and we have plans to add several more in the near future (watch this space!). We are also happy to report that our viewership has continued to grow and the total number of views has passed half of a million and the channel now has over 3000 subscribers!

title-slides
Figure 1: Examples of videos (yellow titles) and mini-videos (green titles) available on GeoScience Videos YouTube channel (as of September, 2017).

In addition to the GeoScience Video YouTube Channel, friends of this blog will know that we have also been curating additional resources to support instruction that you can find right here. We have always provided access to quizzes for each video. Last year we added in-class questions and activities for related lessons linked to each video. And now we can announce a new addition to these materials that we are calling annotated video resources, similar to the one linked here. Like the other instructional materials, these annotated video resources can be found using links in the blog’s Assessment Resources page. Annotated video resources include learning objectives, slightly modified versions of video scripts, a list of important of vocabulary words and a few suggested tasks. We created these resources at the suggestion of a colleague who was looking for a way to provide access to information in the videos when students didn’t have online access.

We’ve heard from colleagues that they use the videos and their resources in a variety of ways, including as pre-class work, to support in-class discussions, as post-class reviews or homework, or as supplementary learning materials. Regardless, of how they are being used, we are glad that so many instructors have found these resources helpful and that some of you have novel ideas about how we can make the videos even more useful. Keep an eye open for new videos and additional resources on the blog! Please drop us a line and tell us how you use using everything in your classes. Here’s hoping everyone has a great semester!

Half a Million Views Later . . .

A couple of years ago, we began noodling around with the idea of adding short videos as pre-class assignments for our introductory physical geology course. We wanted to use the videos to support a flipped class teaching model that requires students to review a video and answer related questions online before attending class (for more about this process see our video about Flipping a Geology Class). We designed a consistent format so that each video would have learning objectives, cover some basic content, use a variety of demonstrations, animations or examples, and end with a reflection activity. We read up on aspects of effective multimedia design and investigated what research had to say about student engagement with videos. Consequently, we settled for relatively short 6 minute-long videos dealing with well-defined topics. The videos weren’t intended to be comprehensive, just to cover some basic content that we would previously have delivered in class.

The videos seemed to work pretty well in our course so we thought it might be a bit of fun to make them more widely available. We launched the GeoScience Videos YouTube channel in fall 2014 with an initial collection of seven videos. We continued to add to the collection and there are now more than 30 videos (Figure 1) that target basic concepts, including newer mini-videos (<3 minutes) that focus on single topics.

title-slides
Figure 1: Videos (yellow titles) and mini-videos (green titles) available on GeoScience Videos YouTube channel (as of November, 2016).

We read somewhere that about half of all videos on YouTube were viewed less than 500 times. So we set our first goal to get 500 views for each video. We are glad to report that, with the help of colleagues and curious students, the total number of views has bumped up to more than a half of a million and the channel now has over 2800 subscribers. Each semester we accumulate more views (Figure 2) and during Spring semester 2017, each month brought more than 40,000 views. This is all pretty small potatoes compared to the titans of YouTube but it’s nice to think that more than a thousand people a day are sitting down to learn something about geology from our collection. Each new semester seems to bring in more viewers and encourages us to continue making and sharing additional resources.

youtube-info
Figure 2: Graph of rolling 28-day total views for GeoScience Videos YouTube channel. Note increase in views around the beginning of each semester. Green triangles indicate when we sent emails about the channel to faculty identified using the AGI directory. 

Sharing learning resources so publicly has its pros and cons. The analytics built into YouTube give us great information about who is using our materials, where they are located, and what topics have the greatest appeal. For academics used to measuring success by slowly accumulating paper citations, the flood of potential data from YouTube represents a pleasant change. For example, we know that about the same number of men and women view the videos, that the proportion of people watching videos on phones is increasing (Figure 3), and that viewers are spread across the US and more than 200 nations around the world. Nearly half of viewers come to the videos from external sources, presumably provided by instructors or friends, while most of the rest find us as they browse on YouTube.

phone_computer
Figure 3: The proportion of people viewing the videos on their phones has increased over the life of the channel.

We also know that that videos about plate boundaries and videos about classifying things (rocks, volcanoes, faults) are among the most popular topics, essentially endorsing our objective to focus initially on basic concepts. Of course, social media provides opportunities for viewers to give us feedback on our materials, and while many comments are supportive and encouraging, we definitely get some that are less than positive. Fortunately, we have learned how to deal with such notes after many semesters of reading student course evaluations.

In addition to the GeoScience Video YouTube Channel, we created this GeoScience Videos blog to provide support for instructors using the videos. The blog provides links to assessment resources and quizzes for each video as well as other related information such as in-class questions and activities for lessons related to the video topics. If you visit the blog’s Assessment Resources page, you can download a one-page pdf (Current GeoScience Videos) that lists the videos and provides links to each one. Consider sharing this document with your students to provide a quick reference guide to the available videos.

Recently, we’ve been doing some research to find out if using short video-based resources improved student performance on assessment questions compared to paper-based resources (text and static images). You can check out the full write-up in an previous blog post. Overall, we found that students who received the video-based resources scored significantly higher than those who had received the text-based resources (Figure 4).

data
Figure 4: Pre- and post-quiz scores on the topic of Classification of Faults. There was no statistical difference among students in video and text groups on the pre-quiz. Students who watched the video after taking the pre-quiz earned a statistically significantly higher score on the post-quiz  than students who read text (video=90; s.d.=14; text=76, s.d.=23).

These findings suggest that we can improve student comprehension of basic course content by providing access to appropriate video resources. But how does watching a video compare to listening to a lecture presentation of the same material? That’s our next question. We are currently exploring student performance on common exam questions to see if students exposed to different treatments (lecture vs. video) show any difference in exam scores.

Colleagues tell us that they use the videos in a variety of ways, including as pre-class work, to support in-class discussions, as post-class reviews or homework, or as supplementary learning materials. Regardless, of how they are being used, we are glad that many other instructors in both K-12 and college settings have found these resources useful. Maybe you will be convinced to add some of them to your course next semester. Keep an eye open for new videos and please drop us a line and tell us how you use them in your classes.