Problem based learning: meteorological instrumentation
The class term project required the students to be responsible for determining, assessing, and implementing the proper observational, instrumental, and network criteria for weather observations to be made within the campus setting. The term project was presented in the context of a consulting company or group that must examine, review, assess, and determine the appropriate course-of-action to properly observe weather conditions on campus. During the process, students were expected to make use of course content and the principles of instrumentation as applied to the equipment available to them through the Department's Meteorology Program. Therefore, students selected from a variety of “work divisions” in order to perform tasks that would achieve end goals of making recommendations (e.g., siting, observations, and equipment), delivery of a technical report (including appropriate documentation), and presentation of their results to an outside review team and the general public. Tasks included obtaining data and reference information, application of statistical analysis techniques learned in the course, and decision-making. Each of these provided professional development experiences as related to job skills and demanded students to approach the project as a job rather than simply a course assignment to be completed. Results were positive, particularly in that students created and developed items that could be included in their own portfolios and that would also help other students in the future when completing a similar project.