92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Monday, 23 January 2012
Online Weather Studies At Gavilan College
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Andrew H. Van Tuyl, Gavilan College, Gilroy, CA

Online Weather Studies has been offered continuously at Gavilan since early 2006. The course is taught entirely online, with one or two (voluntary) orientation meetings at the beginning of each semester. Attendance at these meetings is usually sparse, but students who do attend typically find them helpful.

Enrollment in the course continues to increase; 28 students remained at the end of Spring semester 2011, compared with 11 at the end of the first semester (Spring 2006). This has made evaluating the weekly lab assignments, which comprise the largest portion of the grade, ever more time-consuming. Methods of automating the grading will be considered; the challenge is to do so in a way that will still give students useful feedback on their assignments.

Four discussion forums make up 10% of the grade. As in past years, genuine discussion was difficult to generate. To help alleviate this problem, students will now have to make an initial post before seeing other replies, and may also be required to respond to at least one other student's post. Another change being considered is to include lectures, either videotaped or written, as links on the course page. This would make the online course more like a classroom learning environment, supplementing the material in the textbooks and the AMS website.

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