Overview

The aim of this project is to get students thinking about facts and concepts related to rivers in the field (in real life!). The video of a river is part one of a two-part midterm exam.

Students are tasked to produce a short video, or labelled pictures and a write explaining different concepts about a river or stream of their choice.

With a friend, students go to a river or stream and, at a minimum, identify and explain: the river location (watershed and geographically), the thalweg, bankfull, provide, geomorphic units, human impacts, the zone (aggregation, degradation, etc.), alluvial vs non-alluvial, ...

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The aim of this project is to get students thinking about facts and concepts related to rivers in the field (in real life!). The video of a river is part one of a two-part midterm exam.

Students are tasked to produce a short video, or labelled pictures and a write explaining different concepts about a river or stream of their choice.

With a friend, students go to a river or stream and, at a minimum, identify and explain: the river location (watershed and geographically), the thalweg, bankfull, provide, geomorphic units, human impacts, the zone (aggregation, degradation, etc.), alluvial vs non-alluvial, sediment size and provide an estimate of the river velocity.

Individually, students take video and/or picture footage.

Individually, students produce a video or pictures on a write up outlining their findings. Students submit their video to YouTube, then submit the video link to the course website.

Students are given a written exam. The final mark of their midterm is broken down as follows: 50% for the video and 50% for the written exam. This activity was performed with a class of 30 students.

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Objectives

To apply course knowledge in the field and test the understanding of the first part of the course.

The video of a river is part one of a two-part midterm exam.

Students are tasked to produce a short video, or labelled pictures and a write explaining different concepts about a river or stream of their choice.

With a friend, students go to a river or stream and, at a minimum, identify and explain: the river location (watershed and geographically), the thalweg, bankfull, provide, geomorphic units, human impacts, the zone (aggregation, degradation, etc.), alluvial vs non-alluvial, sediment size and provide an estimate of the river velocity.

Individually, students take video and/or picture footage.

Individually, students produce a video or pictures on a write up outlining their findings.

Students submit their video to YouTube, then submit the video link to the course website.

Students are given a written exam.

The final mark of their midterm is broken down as follows: 50% for the video and 50% for the written exam.This activity was performed with a class of 30 students.

Context and requirements

Level U1-U3
Discipline Environmental Science
Course Geography
Activity Content Fluvial processes including: River channels, aquatic habitats, human impacts, river mechanics, erosion, sediment transport, and bedform
Technological Requirements Video recording device, YouTube, free online polling software
Best Use Testing, Review

Author’s Notes

Benefits

The main benefit is that students get to put their knowledge into practice. Students get outside and really get to see and analyse the complexity of rivers.

Challenges

Some students do not respect the time limit for the videos (2 min). The videos take a long time to mark. This assignment can be not as accessible to some students compared to others, for example if the student is in a wheelchair, or does not have a mode of transportation to a river. Safety is a large issue as well because they will be beside a body of water.

Tips

They should always go to the river with a friend. Get approval from your department for this activity. Be very clear for what you want in the video. This could be turned into a group project.

Activity Pedagogical Components

Two-Stage Exam

INDIVIDUALLY, students complete a two-stage exam which comprises: (1) the development of a 2 min video or pictures and a written explanation of a river or stream outlining and explaining predetermined facts and concepts and (2) an in-class exam. (1) is done OUT OF CLASS and (2) is done IN CLASS.

Field Trip for Data Collection

In a GROUP, students go to a river or stream and, at a minimum, identify and explain different facts and concepts about a river or stream of their choice. This is done OUT OF CLASS.

Presentation

INDIVIDUALLY, students produce a video or pictures and a write up outlining their findings. This is done OUT OF CLASS.

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