12th Symposium on Education


AMS Online Weather Studies for dynamic online and live classroom environments

Virginia M. Ragan, Maple Woods Community College, Kansas City, MO

Maple Woods Community College, one of the Metropolitan Community Colleges (MCC) of Kansas City, MO has successfully used the American Meteorological Society's (AMS) Online Weather Studies program for three years in standard first year meteorology courses delivered both in online distance learning and live classroom environments. Online Weather Studies is a packaged meteorology course designed by AMS that enables students to study weather as it happens through weather data delivered via the Internet and hands-on learning activities based on the current weather. The online and live delivery styles serve distinct student populations. Those taking the meteorology course in the classroom commonly live near Maple Woods, whereas those taking the online version of the course may live anywhere in the MCC district or out-of-district. However, the same scientific principles and current weather applications are used for both classes. Curriculum standards at MCC require online courses and in-classroom courses to be equivalent in content.

At Maple Woods Community College, the online version of the meteorology course is facilitated by the use of WebCt, a course management system, which provides a discussion board and e-mail for distance learners. This prevents isolation, allows students to post local weather in an online weather journal, and stimulates students to use all parts of the highly interactive Online Weather Studies homepage. Reading the comments of other students on the discussion board concerning events in weather history, weather maps, additional weather links, or weather events in student locations enriches the learning experience for each student. Students submit their exercises individually by e-mail. If numerous students make similar mistakes, the instructor can explain the concept on the discussion board after the weekly homework is submitted.

In the classroom setting the AMS course enriches lecture and serves as the laboratory component of the meteorology course. Students regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity comment that current online weather applications help them see the importance of textbook content and make the principles of meteorology real to them.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (64K)

Poster Session 2, University and Professional Initiatives
Monday, 10 February 2003, 2:30 PM-2:30 PM

Previous paper  Next paper

Browse or search entire meeting

AMS Home Page