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Icon for: Robert Stern

ROBERT STERN

University of Texas at Dallas

Collaborative Research: Geoscience Animation: Construction, Evaluation, and M...

NSF Awards: 1712495

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Undergraduate, Graduate

Continental rifting, leading to the breakup of continents to form new oceans by seafloor spreading and new passive continental margins, is an important geologic process. Understanding this process is essential for advancing student understanding of geology plate tectonics, so with NSF support we have animated the rift-to-drift process aimed at upper and lower division undergraduate audiences.  We began by writing a narrative based on concepts and examples from the scientific literature. The greatest amount of time and effort was expended on animating lithospheric cross-sections of the general process of continental rifting, the transition to seafloor spreading, the formation of small ocean basins, and passive continental margins. A sketch of each process was created using Adobe Illustrator, and after multiple revisions during weekly team meetings the sketches were put into motion using Adobe After Effects. Each animation went through multiple revisions before arriving at a final draft product. Revised animations were then input to Adobe Premiere Pro to create the final video. The UTD team learned how to use these tools as part of an upper division UTD course in creating geoscience animations and videos. A mature draft of the upper division animation will be tested in courses and posted on the UTD GSS YouTube page. We invite feedback for improving the upper division animation and for adapting this for the lower division audience.

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Original Discussion from the 2019 STEM for All Video Showcase
  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Researcher
    May 13, 2019 | 01:12 p.m.

    I watched the animation on YouTube — it conveys a lot of information in compact form. It would be interesting to compare students learning using this tool, vs. students learning with a good textbook.  Although Siloa Willis suggests that such animations are the way that her generation likes to learn things, I have also seen studies that suggest that many students prefer studying from books.

        It's not an either/or of course but you might have a nice opportunity for a little study to better understand strengths and weaknesses of each medium. 

     
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    Ning Wang
  • Icon for: Robert Stern

    Robert Stern

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 14, 2019 | 03:56 p.m.

    Yes, I agree that a combination of texts and short videos is the best way to advance student learning. Our project definitely involves an assessment component, which Jeff Ryan at U S Florida is handling. I don't think he will assess learning from textbooks vs. learning from videos but it is an interesting idea, worth further consideration.

     
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    Ning Wang
  • Icon for: Patricia Marsteller

    Patricia Marsteller

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 10:55 a.m.

    Thanks for the explanations of why you are developing video animations of geo processes.  I wonder if you all might consider teaching students to create and evaluate such videos?

    https://nagt.org/nagt/teaching_resources/sponso...

    This site summarizes a number of geoscience teaching projects that might provide some insights.

    How will you evaluate student learning? Is there a plan to see if students learn more from this method?

     
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    Ning Wang
  • Icon for: Robert Stern

    Robert Stern

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 14, 2019 | 03:32 p.m.

    Thanks Patricia

       I teach a course on how to make Geoscience Animations and Videos. it is an upper division elective for Geoscience majors.  You can watch a video about it here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&a...

    We are also teaching workshops about this at GSA 2019 Phoenix and AGU 2019 SF.

    Jeff Ryan at U S Florida is handling the assessment, which is a key part of our project.

     
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    Jonathan Lewis
    Ning Wang
  • Icon for: Alex Rudolph

    Alex Rudolph

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 10:32 a.m.

    Very interesting project! Congratulations, Siloa, on the work you have done for the project. How you actively promoted the use of the YouTube video in any classrooms, or otherwise advertised it? How could you measure the effectiveness of the video in promoting the learning of the nomenclature and concepts shown? Are there any plans to do this?

     
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    Ning Wang
  • Icon for: Robert Stern

    Robert Stern

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 16, 2019 | 12:43 p.m.

    We have "Geoscience Studios" website: https://utdgss2016.wixsite.com/utdgss

    We disseminate via GSA, AGU and Sigma Xi "connected communities".

    We give talks and write papers, see https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geosphere/article/13/3/628/208073/a-new-animation-of-subduction-zone-processes 

  • May 15, 2019 | 12:13 p.m.

    This is wonderful. Free and accurate on-demand science content! Have you done any evaluation to understand if students learn content better from this video vs. other methods? 

     
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    Ning Wang
  • Icon for: Robert Stern

    Robert Stern

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 16, 2019 | 12:44 p.m.

    Jeff Ryan at U South Florida is handling classroom assessment. We are also asking content experts for their opinion.

  • Icon for: Stephen Alkins

    Stephen Alkins

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 03:38 p.m.

    I agree with the spirit of this video!  Technology is not well-integrated in many STEM subjects, so I appreciate this approach.  Sort of seems like creating a video showcase as opposed to reading individually published papers, interestingly.  This also could help support online learners, who may have an added disconnect of not having an in-person professor/instructor, and the platform of YouTube prompts students to engage in learning about other similar topics through the "related videos" algorithm.

    Perhaps you cannot do an assessment of textbooks versus videos/animations at this point, but do you plan to assess which lesson units were most enjoyed by the students or which lessons contained the most comprehension on exams (were lessons with supporting animations retained more than those without?)?  Along the lines of this, do geoscience animations increase confidence in students' understanding of curricula?  You may have a potential collaboration with Jason Jones at NC State to evaluate the efficiency of this method.  Check out his video for the CLASS web tool. https://stemforall2019.videohall.com/presentations/1431

     
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    Ning Wang
  • Icon for: Ning Wang

    Ning Wang

    Researcher
    May 16, 2019 | 10:44 a.m.

    Thanks! Guys for your comments. I am working with Siloa, and we are all from UTD Geoscience Studio. So actually there are already plenty of research on comparing video or most other technology (such as TV back to 1970) to other methods. Most of time you would find that in terms of teaching effectiveness the container is not very important. Effective or not depends on how you curricula design or convey the information. Video, though,does help share information better, save time of learning if well designed. Therefore, our research at UTD is more focusing on how to better design video to make them more effective while Jeff at USF is more focusing on overall psychological assessment.

  • Icon for: Robert Stern

    Robert Stern

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 16, 2019 | 12:45 p.m.

     I think the 21st science school needs to be linked strongly to a content-focusd video/animation team.  How to do this is the question. Thanks fro the info about the CLASS web tool, which I've shared with my team.

  • May 20, 2019 | 07:12 a.m.

    Nice work and very much needed!  I will certainly look to take advantage of the videos. 

    The nomenclature, as you suggest, is certainly a challenge but it has always struck me as similar (if not less onerous) than in other STEM fields (molecular biology, immunology).  I've come to think (but not know) that geological time is a substantial challenge for students.  Animation is a wonderful way to speed up the processes but that in itself does not necessarily help the students understand real rates.  I'm curious whether this deep time problem is really a struggle for students and whether your efforts might also also it? 

    Thanks again for this work!

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