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Enhancing Students' Understanding of Risk and Geologic Hazards Using a Dartboard Model
This article describes the use of a model to express the magnitude-frequency relationships of natural hazards. The model consists of a dartboard whose rings can be drawn to represent magnitude, exceedence probability, average recurrence interval, or other statistical information. Students are engaged by "playing" the dart game through conducting a thought experiment, actually throwing at a physical dartboard, or simulating events based on a computer program. This type of model is applicable to any sequence of events that can be described by random sampling. It helps emphasize the random nature of such events, and provides a means for presenting hazard recurrence information in an easily visible form. In addition, it helps mitigate students' misconceptions about risk and average recurrence intervals, and provides a way to teach probability concepts without the use of sophisticated mathematics.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Graduate / Professional
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
  • Text:
    • Journal article
  • Educational theory and practice
  • Mathematics
  • Natural hazards
Technical requirements:
Adobe Acrobat reader
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
We encourage the reuse and dissemination of the material on this site for educational, noncommercial purposes as long as attribution is retained.
DLESE Catalog ID: EVAL-TLKT-000-000-000-095
Related resources:
This resource is referenced by
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Timothy M. Lutz
Department of Geology and Astronomy
West Chester University

Publisher: National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT)
Journal of Geoscience Education (JGE)