About this class

ATM401, ATM601, and CHEM601 are online classes

This means that for taking this class you need the technical equipment and software indicated in the syllabus. In addition, you have to have the pre-requisites listed in the catalog or get my permission.   If you need a pre-requiste over-write, contact me by email.

Curiosity and job skills

Most interesting and challenging research questions have in common that they are ill-posed problems. The same applies often to tasks in the job field.

Therefore, besides learning the fundamentals of atmospheric sciences this class will teach students how to solve ill-posed questions by making reasonable assumptions accessing the uncertainty in the results caused by these assumptions. This means this class also teaches students   to synthesize, and assess limitations, and to ignore irrelevant data. All these skills are needed for research, and highly demanded in the various professional fields.

What else happens in this class?

In this online classroom, students learn at their own pace within the framework of units that have fixed due dates given in the schedule. The class web-page guides you thru the knowledge-gaining process, applications, and exercises with mandatory tasks, voluntary tests/quizzes and further non-mandatory material. The respective material is indicated as such.

Participation and interaction is important in this course.   The closed discussion board on slack permits you to ask questions and provide answers to fellow classmates.   It also serves as a discussion board where assigned discussions will take place. Each unit has it own channel.   I expect that every student participates in the discussions of each unit.

Group work is encouraged

I encourage group work. When you work as a group of up to 3 students, please only submit one solution of the assigned problems and indicate the group members. Please make sure that your group members all take the class at the same level, i.e. undergraduate or graduate level. Undergraduates have different sets of problems to solve than graduate students!

I expect those who work as a group to nevertheless participate in the unit’s discussion and help their fellow students.

How and when do you get feedback

There are up to three mandatory teleconferences during the semester, where I will call you. You will also get feedback via graded homework and quizzes.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at cmoelders@alaska.edu.   You can also check your chat function on Google Mail if I am logged in. I will not response before 1000 and after 1700 and on weekends even when I am logged in.

It generally takes me about a week or so to grade written assignments after submission. There are voluntary quizzes that provide immediate feedback.

In addition to your grade, you will receive feedback from me either in the comment box, or as an attachment.

Each unit has a FAQ section as well.

Student discussion board

We will use Slack as a discussion platform. Each unit has its own discussion channel. The general channel is for class related topics that do not relate to a specific unit. The random channel is for chit-chat, status up-dates, etc.

What does educational research say?

Educational research provides evidence that students’ attention span is about 15 minutes. Students can recall about 70% of the lecture material presented in the first 10 minutes, but only 20% from last 10 minutes. Lecture pausing increased the short term recall (108/80 correct facts) and long-term retention (89.4%/80.4% exam scores). Collaborative learning has been found to improve academic achievements, communication skills, self-esteem, and student retention. Problem based learning improves student attitude. Also students have different learning styles. In an e-learning class, students can work at their own pace in a guided environment with support of peers and faculty.

Bloom's taxonomy. Students need faculty and their peers most when material has to be applied, analyzed, build upon at a metacognitive and procedural level
Bloom’s taxonomy. Students need faculty and their peers most when material has to be applied, analyzed, build upon at a metacognitive and procedural level

Where to go next?

Get started or read the syllabus at your class level.

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