Turning the Corner: Moving From Emergency to Intentional Online Learning in Water Resources

Tuesday, 8 December 2020: 07:31
Austin Polebitski, University of Wisconsin Platteville, Platteville, WI, United States and Tyler J Smith, Clarkson University, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Potsdam, NY, United States
Water resources courses often rely on hands-on activities, including lab experiments, in-class exercises, and design projects, to reinforce the theoretical concepts being taught. The reliance on such in-person activities proved to be a significant barrier to an effective online transition for many courses, while also highlighting the need for pedagogical refinement / improvement for courses in general. In seeking to address these issues, we employ the HydroLearn online platform to develop a project-based module focused on authentic learning activities related to floodplain analysis. By using HydroLearn, we sought to leverage existing community-based resources and open educational resources. The module relies on open and free software packages that any student can obtain and use within a design context. This project highlights the proactive development of intentionally online, project-based activities for water resources engineering or hydrology courses, noting that such activities can be used to enhance student learning for both remote and in-person delivery modes.