Professor Mast worked as a Wagner Teaching Fellow to expand the geospatial science techniques within her geoscience classes. From Geographical Interface Systems (GIS) to virtual reality, Prof. Mast created opportunities for students to visualize conceptual knowledge within the classroom.
“They can explore and learn information from the chapter through GIS,” said Prof. Mast.
Prof. Mast then took these tools and implemented them on campus. Through multiple classes, students collaboratively used global positioning systems (GPS) to locate and gather information on the trees within the Arboretum. The students created GIS maps and analyzed the data collected, which were then featured in the Arboretum report within the Carthaginian.
“It’s been a wonderful way to help our students visualize the planet,” said Prof. Mast.
Professor Mark Mahoney walks students through a multitude of coding problems and projects through his open-source program Storyteller. Combining the structure that comes from prepared materials and the fluidity that comes from doing the work live, Storyteller allows students to see how a small idea expands into a full project.
“I want to tell them the story about how my code came to be, so they can learn lessons along the way,’ said Prof. Mahoney.
Through the Wagner Teaching Fellowship, Prof. Mahoney will continue to analyze the benefits and effect of this teaching tool within his classroom. His primary focus will be testing if the program can be used by students to review their code and have an easier time learning from their mistakes.
Professor Leslie Cameron uses her background in visual perception to help students better understand and communicate graphical data. Using eye-tracking technology, Prof. Cameron studies how both students and experts analyze data and uses her findings to teach students techniques that will improve their analysis.
“We get to see behind the scenes and what the mental processes are in interpreting data” said Prof. Cameron.
Prof. Cameron also uses the Decoding the Disciplines approach, in which she mentally breaks down her process for analyzing data. She then takes those steps and finds ways she can further teach students how to understand the data presented to them.