Problems that involve quantitative skills require students to reason logically. Strong logical-reasoning and problem-solving skills are necessary for students in proceeding with the application of mathematical methods. Introductory geoscience courses offer an excellent opportunity for students, especially nonscience majors, to develop their problem-solving and quantitative skills. A series of logic problems that increase in difficulty level as the course progresses are given to students in my introductory geoscience courses. Because each student works through problems at his/her pace, many exercise are given as homework. To tie the problems to the course material, real geologic data are used. For example, one logic problem uses streamflow discharge data for a local river. Each student must perform unit conversions, solve the problem, plot data, and provide a written interpretation of the graph. At the end of one semester, a majority of students state that their self-reported ability to solve logic problems has increased. It is essential that students have the confidence and ability to solve relatively simple problems before they can go on to complete problems requiring the use of more complex quantitative methods.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)