Indiana University Northwest is one of seven regional campuses within the Indiana University System. Indiana University Northwest Campus attracts students from seven counties in NW Indiana, and several counties from neighboring NE Illinois. Among 5,000 students, African Americans and Hispanics make up about 35 % of the total student population. As a commuter campus, the Indiana University student population is dominated by nontraditional students, and female students outnumber male students by a 2:1 ratio.
Oceanography was part of the College of Arts and Sciences curriculum and has been taught in the Department of Geosciences. Due to a small number of full time faculty in the Department of Geosciences and their obligation to teach courses required for majors, the Oceanography course was offered sporadically. In the past, most of the students enrolled in Oceanography course were majors in COAS and School of Education.
In the 2008 fall semester the Oceanography course (G 210) is going to be offered with a license through the American Meteorological Society for the first time at IU Northwest. The course was originally planned to be a traditional, two times a week lecture course. However, after attending a week long short course on teaching Oceanography in Seattle (June 2008), which was sponsored by the AMS, I decided to teach the course differently. With a breadth of knowledge acquired during the workshop, and interactions with invited lecturers, AMS personnel, as well as with fellow colleagues, my enthusiasm for teaching Oceanography really increased, and I made the decision to teach the course as a hybrid. On Tuesdays I will have a traditional lecture, where I will present lecture material in power point style. Our department will order sets of “hands on” materials, which will be used to demonstrate some concepts (El Nino, Coriolis Effect, cold-warm water interactions, etc.) during lectures. On Thursdays the class will move into a modern computer lab, where students will do real time exercises and other activities related to lecture topics presented on Tuesdays. In addition to these activities I will have several Internet exercises that deal with ocean monitoring data as homework assignments. I plan to incorporate photos of class activities, real time lab exercises, and samples of students work into my poster. Our experience with lectures and labs will also be displayed.