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The COVID-19 pandemic has increased educators’ reliance on online learning tools such as Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and Zoom meetings to deliver geoscience-related lessons in real-time. Assessments were conducted using introduction to geology, environmental geology, and oceanography - part of the City University of New York's (CUNY) newly implemented pathways curriculum. These general education courses belong to scientific world and life and physical sciences category and are intended for seamless transfer between CUNY campuses. Students, however, have the option to disengage from participation. Students are able to disable microphones and cameras, as well as rely entirely on text-chat if they choose. Students also have the option to simply log-on and not be physically present at all. If a practitioner does not advocate for forced participation via assigning a heavy weight of the course grade to participation, then the burden of bolstering engagement is almost entirely on the practitioner. This study attempts to review different pedagogical approaches and create a rubric to measure engagement during and after the delivery of the course contents. These approaches include short animated videos, long, medium, and short YouTube videos, interactive educational games, group discussions and debates, PowerPoint presentations, etc. The goal is to find approaches that deliver an effective learning, but still encourage organic class participation. Initial findings are as follows: short animated videos had the most total engagement with highly positively correlated with engagement during and after; long YouTube videos generated the most engagement during and after; single-player interactive educational games tied for highest total engagement and encouraged discussion during the game as well as after; short PowerPoint presentations with salient information did much better than longer presentations; and group discussions (when engaged upon) generated a moderate amount of total engagement. Trends included: length correlated positively with discussion during delivery, but negatively with discussion after delivery; intensity played no part in discussion during an activity, but correlated positively with discussion afterwards. In general, high intensity material of any kind, has been deemed the best.


Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol 54, No. 5,



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