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Active Inquiry: Web-Based Oceanography Exercises
The exercises presented in this paper are part of a "minds on" rather than a "hands on" approach. They are intended to complement "hands on" activities and introduce students to another aspect of scientific inquiry. The exercises require students to analyze large sets of real data, to evaluate the data critically, to observe patterns and anomalies, to make inferences and predictions based on the data, to interpret the data, and to form testable hypotheses to explain their observations. As a result of this approach, the focus is shifted to an exploration of the question rather than the answer. Two exercises are presented, one for a course for non-science majors and one for an upper-level science-majors course. The text explains how these exercises teach science-process skills as well as oceanographic content and how they can be modified for use at different levels. Both exercises are presented as entire in-class labs, but can be adapted as take-home projects, or small portions can be extracted for a 5-10 minute in-class activity.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Graduate / Professional
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
    • Guide for instructor
  • Text:
    • Journal article
  • Educational theory and practice
  • Ocean Sciences:
    • Physical oceanography
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-000-000-000-096
Related resources:
This resource is referenced by
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: National Association of Geoscience Teachers
Journal of Geoscience Education

Author: Ellen E. Martin
University of Florida, Department of Geological Science

Author: Paul D. Howell
University of Kentucky, Department of Geological Sciences