Sunday, 14 January 2007
First-time teaching of online oceanography at a small community college
Exhibit Hall C (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Online Ocean Studies is being offered for the first time during the Fall Semester of 2006 at New Mexico State University (NMSU) - Grants Campus. Grants is a small community of 8,000, and the campus is a 2-year community college within the NMSU system. The 700+ student body is very diverse, composed of 39% Native Americans, 34% Hispanics, and 27% other ethnicities, mainly Anglo. Planning for this course began 3 semesters prior to teaching with addition of an introductory oceanography course to the course offerings in the catalog. In order to attract students to this new class, it was created as a 4-credit lab science course, and meets general science criteria for degree plans. An extensive advertising campaign was implemented titled, "Why should I take Oceanography? I live in the desert!" This campaign included radio announcements, posters throughout campus, and radio and newspaper promotion. Additionally, the course is offered in two formats - 1) totally web-based, and 2) hybrid with traditional lecture and web-based labs. In order to meet the needs of the student body, students may switch between sections of the course at will. The course is to be taught in the Fall of 2006, after submission of this abstract. Successes and lessons learned will be highlighted in the poster presentation.