Developing an online geology of the national parks course

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Geography and Geology


Geology of the National Parks is a popular general education science course at many universities. With the growth of interest by students in the flexibility of online courses, especially for courses outside of one's major, there was a large interest at Eastern Michigan University to develop an online version of this course. In developing this course for online instruction several challenges were encountered, including finding a way to have authentic laboratory experiences to meet the criteria for a natural science course, engaging the students with the material, and balancing the weight of the exams with other course content. However, there are opportunities more easily available to online students, such as integrating online maps and satellite images, national park podcasts, video resources, and other similar resources. The course was offered for the first time online during the summer of 2011, and will subsequently be offered every semester. Those projects and aspects of the course which worked well in the initial offering will be presented.

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