Earth Institute Research Projects

Collaborative Research: Development of Adaptable Web Modules to Stimulate Active Learning in Hydrology Using Data and Model Simulations

Lead PI: Dr. Upmanu Lall

Unit Affiliation: Columbia Water Center (CWC)

October 2011 - September 2016
North America ; United States ; Florida ; Utah ; Louisiana
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: This collaborative project is creating case-based, web-enabled educational hydrology modules that encapsulate real-world hydrologic systems. This project expands on the results of a Type I CCLI pilot study and grounds the learning experiences using three large-scale natural hydrologic systems (Coastal Louisiana, the Florida Everglades, and the Great Salt Lake Basin in Utah).

The project leverages recent research advances on monitoring and modeling of complex natural systems and synthesizes them to develop a suite of flexible, adaptable web-based modules. The selected natural systems, each presenting some unique concepts and physical settings, contribute to redefining the teaching of hydrology by focusing on the dynamics of fundamental hydrologic processes and their connections to climate drivers, ecosystems' response, and water resources operational constraints. An extensive set of interactive learning modules is being built into the system and is supported by an instructional interface, an instructor's guide, and a set of implementation and adaptation procedures. The project adopts an improvement-focused evaluation model with an iterative design process which includes multiple iterations of design, implementation, evaluation, and redesign.

OUTCOMES: The CWC is co-leading the effort on developing the technical content of the South Florida Everglades HydroViz Observatory site. Additionally, the Center is developing the related educational modules of the Florida observatory sire and assisting in developing the modules of the other two observatory sites.