I’ve just finished teaching ENS 610 Environmental Science I for the fourth time, and so it seems like a good time to reflect on the course a bit and jot down some notes for next year. As in years past, this course runs simultaneously with EP 603 Environmental Science for Policymakers.
Some of my notes on this course can be found here.
Matrials used this year
Repeating what I’ve done in the past, I required Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, coupled with peer-reviewed journal articles for the first half of the semester.
For the second half, we read sections of various IPCC Reports, including AR5, SR Climate Change and Land, and SR Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation.
Major changes from years prior
- All readings were shared with a Zotero Group Project
- I assigned a Take-home midterm and final
- IPCC related readings for second “half” (instead of Coal)
Improvements for next year
- Apply the exam rubric separately to each question
- Expand the rubric for the final paper
- Setup more low-stakes writing assignments
- Require a draft
- Need to think more about weekly reading responses
- The point of the responses is to make sure the students read the materials before coming to class. However, I’m not convinced I’m using them effectively. Partly this is because I so often fall behind on scoring them, and my current rubric is definitely not aligned with my goals for these assignments. Next year I need to bring a backward design approach to my weekly assessments.