Online Content for Experiential Learning of Tropical Systems


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Implementing an online module about interpreting sound in a coral reef for an undergraduate marine biology course in Indonesia

Author(s): Rio Christy Handziko

Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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Students engage in interpreting sound, exploring the diversity of sounds in a coral reef in Indonesia, and relating coral reefs to climate change. This implementation incorporated principles of ocean literacy developed by NOAA.


The online module, “Sounds of the tropics part 1: How can audio recording improve tropical biodiversity conservation?” was implemented in an undergraduate marine biology course at the Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta, Indonesia, as part of a field experience at Karimun Jawa Island (5°49’S 110° 24’E).

The module content was integrated with seven principles of ocean literacy developed by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and National Marine Educator Association (NMEA). Connections were also made with principles of climate change literacy developed by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE).


Overview of Module:

Because most methods for assessing biodiversity are costly and labor-intensive, an innovative and less-expensive approach is to monitor sounds. This module engages students in this approach that allows researchers to assess biodiversity remotely, and without disturbing the environment.  


Summary of implementation plan and teaching notes.  

  • The learning objectives were for students to understand how underwater sounds are interpreted, explore the diversity of sounds in a coral reef, and connect the role of reefs with climate change.
  • Supplemental materials were incorporated:
    • Ocean literacy by NOAA-NMEA. See https://www.marine-ed.org/ocean-literacy/overview for information about the 7 principles and their fundamental concepts. These materials can help students understand basic concepts about the ocean and build awareness and appreciation of the ocean. This scientific foundation will help students gain critical reasoning skills, in this case, in regards to the ocean.
    • Climate literacy by NOAA-NAAEE. See https://www.climate.gov/teaching/climate for climate literacy information developed by NOAA, in collaboration with NAAEE. These climate literacy principles and concepts help students understand our climate system. This information can enhance their awareness of how to mitigate the impact of climate change.


Support was provided by: A grant from the United States National Science Foundation (DBI-RCN-UBE 2120141).

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