AMS Weather Studies, Ocean Studies, and Climate Studies courses are offered as 4-5 credit laboratory courses with 2-3 lectures and 1-2 lab sessions per week. Students are assigned a text chapter before each week's meetings. Lab time is used for discussion of the daily and weekly news, completion of labs in the eInvestigations Manual and/or Current Studies activities, and critical thinking exercises. The instructor grades work handed in physically or has students enter their responses on a learning management system website for automated scoring and instant feedback.
AMS Studies coruses are each offered as a completely online class that may begin or end any time of the year or may be an open ended self-paced course. For the typical asynchronous class the instructor assigns textbook readings and Investigations Manual activities, and may use RealTime Portals materials including the Math Skills activities to round out the student's work. Instructors form online collaborative study groups and communicate with students through email, an online discussion board, or via chat. Group discussions can focus on the daily and weekly news. The instructor uses a learning management system for overall course organization as well as student response and testing.
Non-traditional students, often in the workforce, are flocking to courses that deliver high quality learning in a variety of new ways that directly meet their needs as busy adult learners. The typical blended course offers most course content online while providing an opportunity for the class to interact in the live classroom several times during the term. Class meetings are often held on weekends and evenings and may be as many or few as scheduling needs dictate. Some courses make the live meetings optional when a part of new "flex-class" programs. Accelerated degree programs frequently find this delivery method ideal. It also works well for short "winterterm" and summer session programs.
The instructor offers 2-3 weekly large on-campus lectures and students complete textbook readings and end-of-chapter review and critical thinking questions. Testing is done in-class. The instructor may use the RealTime Portals for discussions of the daily/weekly news and current weather maps and data.