15th Symposium on Education


Teaching Online Weather Studies at the University of Houston

Sharon Zhong, Univ. of Houston, Houston, TX; and R. Perna

The Online Weather Studies (OWS) is offered for the first time during the Fall Semester of 2005 at the University of Houston. Located in the center of Metropolitan Houston, University of Houston serves one of the most ethnically diverse, multicultural populations in the country. The 33,000 + student body is comprised of 14% African American, 18% Hispanic, 19% Asian Pacific Islanders, and 39% Caucasian. In addition to the diverse student body, a vast majority of UH students are employed full time or half time while attending college. To meet the needs of busy students, we developed two courses using OWS as a foundation. The first is a 1-credit weather lab that takes full advantage of the online part of OWS. The lab serves as a requirement for the BA degree in Earth Science as well as a general science elective for both science and non-science majors. The second course benefited from the materials and recourses in OWS is an introductory course to meteorology taught in a traditional classroom setting. Although a different text book is used for the course, many in-class exercises and homework assignments are developed based on OWS. Qualitative and quantitative data collected so far from both courses have suggested that the use of the materials from OWS has significantly helped enhance classroom instruction and student learning.

Poster Session 1, Educational Initiatives
Sunday, 29 January 2006, 5:30 PM-7:00 PM, Exhibit Hall A2

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