Changing teaching techniques and adapting new technologies to improve student learning in an introductory meteorology and climate course
Responding to the call for reform in science education, changes were made in an introductory meteorology and climate course offered at a large public university. These changes were a part of a larger project aimed at deepening and extending a program of science content courses that model effective teaching strategies for prospective middle school science teachers. Therefore, revisions were made to address misconceptions about meteorological phenomena, foster deeper understanding of key concepts, encourage engagement with the text, and promote inquiry-based learning. Techniques introduced include: use of a flash cards, student reflection questionnaires, writing assignments, and interactive discussions on weather and forecast data using computer technology such as Integrated Data Viewer (IDV). The revision process is described in a case study format. Preliminary results (self-reflection by the instructor, surveys of student opinion, and measurements of student achievement), suggest student learning has been positively influenced. This study is supported by three grants: NSF grant No. 0202923, the Unidata Equipment Award, and the Lucia Harrison Endowment Fund.