As a scientist and a teacher, I find value in experimenting with different approaches in a course to enhance student learning. The science of learning in the field of atmospheric science has yet to be explored deeply, and thus there are many interesting avenues for research!
Active Learning in Atmospheric Sciences
As a first step in encouraging the use of active learning in atmospheric science courses, some collaborators and I have completed a survey to identify to what extent active learning is already being used. Check out our findings here: The ‘State’ of Active Learning in the Atmospheric Sciences: Strategies Instructors Use and Directions for Future Research
Fundamentals in Meteorology Inventory
One approach to helping students learn meteorology is to identify the common misconceptions that are held, and directly address them in the classroom. However, we have yet to identify these misconceptions for a broad swath of students. This led to the development of the Fundamentals in Meteorology Inventory–Read more in the journal articles and conference presentations linked below!
Spatial Thinking in Atmospheric Sciences
The field of meteorology requires incisive analysis of weather maps to identify key patterns in the data and piece together a conceptual model of processes and generate accurate forecasts. When do students learn these skills? Are there certain courses that support progress more than others? I have a SOTL grant that aims to answer this question! See Lauren Decker’s presentation “Quantifying Spatial Thinking Abilities in Meteorology Students Across the Curriculum” from the 2021 Earth Educators Rendezvous or from the Conference on Education at the 2023 AMS Annual Meeting for more information!
Worked Examples for Atmospheric Dynamics
Much research has demonstrated that novice learners are able to better grasp concepts when they first see examples of what they are learning, and then dive into the theory. I’ve applied this principle to teaching the notoriously difficult Atmospheric Dynamics course sequence, using an approach called Worked Examples. Read the articles below for more details! If you’re interested in seeing the examples I developed, you are welcome to contact me directly.
I use the flipped classroom approach to teaching computer programming, and have found that while some students are skeptical, they find that it’s really helpful for learning programming skills!