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Integrating Large-Scale Hydrologic Modeling into Student Learning and Decision Making

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  078007.(doi:10.13031/2013.22962)
Authors:   Majdi R Abou Najm, Rabi H Mohtar, Keith A Cherkauer, Brian F French, Erik Braudeau
Keywords:   Enhanced student learning, decision making, hydrology education, scaling

This paper examines how the incorporation of the concept of scaling as well as large-scale processes into student curriculum impact student learning and their decision making capabilities. With the wide range of scales of hydrological processes, spanning about eight orders of magnitude in space and time, defining large-scale hydrological modeling is critical. To achieve this goal, learning material is prepared to introduce the concept of scaling, provide hydrologic modeling case studies, and test for students’ enhanced knowledge and improved decision making skills. The material are designed to accommodate different time allocations, levels (undergraduate vs. graduate), and students’ technical backgrounds. An outcome-based evaluation procedure is used to measure the effectiveness of the use of large-scale hydrologic modeling in enhancing student learning and decision making capabilities. Preliminary results show that introducing the concept of scaling and its application using large scale computer models enhances student learning and their decision making skills. Students’ level of confidence in answering the pre- and post- tests also increases after the introduction of the scaling concept and following a computer model exercise.

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