Using Digital Libraries to Support Undergraduate Learning in Geomorphology

Using Digital Libraries to Support Undergraduate Learning in Geomorphology

Stephen Darby (University of Southampton, UK), Sally J. Priest (Middlesex University, UK), Karen Fill (KataliSys Ltd, UK) and Samuel Leung (University of Southampton, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-980-9.ch005
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Abstract

In this chapter we outline the issues involved in developing, delivering, and evaluating a Level 2 undergraduate module in fluvial geomorphology. The central concept of the module, which was designed to be delivered in a “blended” mode, involving a combination of traditional lectures and online learning activities, was the use of online digital library resources, comprising both data and numerical models, to foster an appreciation of physical processes influencing the evolution of drainage basins. The aim of the module was to develop the learners’ knowledge and understanding of drainage basin geomorphology, while simultaneously developing their abilities to (i) access spatial data resources and (ii) provide a focus for developing skills in scientific data analysis and modeling. The module adopts a global perspective, drawing on examples from around the world. We discuss the process of course and assessment design, explaining the pedagogy underlying the decision to adopt blended delivery. We share our teaching experiences, involving a particular combination of “face-to-face” lectures and online sessions, complemented by independent online learning, and supported by the associated virtual learning environment. Finally, we discuss the issues highlighted by a comprehensive module evaluation.
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Introduction

In this chapter we describe the development, delivery, and evaluation of a Level 2 module designed to support undergraduate learning in fluvial geomorphology. The central concept of the module was the use of a suite of online digital library resources, comprising both data and numerical models, to foster an appreciation of the physical processes influencing the evolution of drainage basins. In the following sections we discuss the design of the module and its assessment, and share our experiences in delivering it, reflecting on the challenges and opportunities involved in blending the “face-to-face” lectures and online sessions. Finally, the module has been comprehensively evaluated, and we discuss the issues highlighted by this process.

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