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Annotation: Editor's Summary

Title:  How Volcanoes Work
ID:   DLESE-000-000-001-035


The community reviewers gave How Volcanoes Work a modal score of 4 (highest possible) or 3 on all of the selection criteria. There were no scores of 1 or 2 by any community reviewer on any criterion.

The resource was strongly recommended for use with students who are adult learners, are deaf or hard of hearing, have limited mobility, or are economically-disadvantaged, by five or more educators who have observed the resource being used by such students. Among educators who teach urban-dwelling students/ students having limited contact with Nature, reaction was mixed: 6 educators strongly advise using the resource with such students, while two advise against.

One of our science specialist reviewers called How Volcanoes Work "one of the best and most complete resources on volcanoes that I have seen," while the other said that "the material is complete and could serve as a section of an introductory course or as the basis for a course in volcanology."

Although the site is suitable for use directly by learners in self-guided learning or a directed inquiry, it appears that the educator-reviewers were finding it most useful to enhance lectures. Typical comments from community reviewers were: "Students LOVE the site and enhances lecture a million times over." "In the lecture hall, students follow the imagery and material with genuine interest. I wish I had such compelling materials for some of the other topics I cover." The pedagogy specialist reviewers noted that pedagogical guidance and practical information for use is sparse in the resource. This comment, coupled with the observation that the resource is being used in lecturers, leads me to suggest that educator-users could benefit from practical, concrete information about how to use the resource in a more inquiry-based manner. I encourage the DLESE community to use the Teaching Tips facility within the Community Review process to share such pedagogical content knowledge about How Volcanoes Work.

How Volcanoes Work states that it is for use by university students of geology and volcanology and teachers of earth science. It seems well-suited to the former audience, perhaps less so for the latter. Teachers of Earth Science will look in vain for pedagogical support such as links to national or state educational standards.

How Volcanoes Work includes on-line multiple choice tests. Our pedagogy specialist reviewer panned these assessments for having confusing questions and no mechanism for remediating wrong answers. The community reviewers apparently agreed: nine out of thirteen didn't use the provided assessment strategies.

Kim Kastens, 31 July 2003


Community Review System