Module 8

Module 8 Home





Accessing and Evaluating Resources for Coastal and Marine Studies



Workshop Outline

Materials Required



This module is designed to provide practical support and guidelines for making decisions about appropriate teaching resources. A range of important issues need to be considered when teachers select resources for coastal and marine studies. These include:
  • whether resources support the objectives, concepts and skills required for coastal and marine studies;

  • whether resources provide balanced opinions and a range of viewpoints; and

  • whether resources used for teaching controversial coastal and marine issues are, themselves, embedded with conflicting ideologies and the potential for controversy.

This module addresses these sorts of concerns. Those involved in coastal and marine education need to become familiar with the core concepts of Ecologically Sustainable Development and education for sustainable living. An evaluation matrix called 'ERCME' (Evaluation of Resources in Coastal and Marine Education) is provided in this module to help teachers identify aspects of these core concepts in the materials they might choose to use.

The use of the ERCME matrix can help overcome to the problems that may arise with otherwise 'good' resources. Overall, this module attempts to develop strategies for evaluating resources that will assist in the comprehensive evaluation and selection of materials for classroom use.


The objectives of this workshop are:
  • to develop strategies for evaluating teaching and learning materials;

  • to assist in the location and selection of materials and resources for classroom use in coastal and marine studies;

  • to help teachers develop appropriate criteria for the evaluation of resources; and

  • to develop skills in adapting and using the ERCME matrix.

Workshop Outline

There are seven activities in this workshop:

  1. Introduction
    An icebreaker activity is used to introduce the themes of the workshop and involve participants in a discussion of the resources they find most useful in coastal and marine studies.

  2. Problems of Resource Selection
    A group discussion identifies some problems associated with resource selection and develops a list of criteria for resource selection.

  3. The ERCME Matrix
    A mini-lecture and discussion introduces participants to the ERCME matrix.

  4. Using the ERCME Matrix
    Participants work in groups and apply the ERCME matrix to evaluate a range of coastal and marine resources.

  5. The Purchasing Committee
    A simulation game provides participants with the opportunity to work in groups to 'purchase' resources for coastal and marine studies.

  6. Accessing Coastal and Marine Resources on the WWW
    This activity is provided for workshop groups with access to several computer terminals that have access to the Internet in order to evaluate the value of the WWW in accessing information and teaching materials for coastal and marine studies.

  7. Conclusion
    Participants return to the lists generated in Activity 1 and assess the usefulness of these resources using the criteria for evaluation explored during the workshop.

Materials Required

A. Provided

Overhead Transparencies

OHT 1 An Unfinished Checklist of Resources
OHT 2 Objectives of the Workshop
OHT 3 Problems Associated with Resource Selection
OHT 4 Six Problems of Resource Selection
OHT 5 Some Types of Bias
OHT 6 Possible Evaluation Criteria
OHT 7 The ERCME Matrix
OHT 8 Characteristics of our School



Resource 1 Our Most Useful Resources
Resource 2 Developing the ERCME Matrix
Resource 3 The ERCME Matrix
Resource 4 A Sample Resource for Evaluation
Resource 5 Creating your Own Evaluation Matrix
Resource 6 Resources Available for 'Purchase'
Resource 7 Introduction to the Internet
Resource 8 WWW Sites for Coastal and Marine Studies



Reading 1 A Bit about Bias
Reading 2 Evaluation Criteria

B. To be obtained

Activity 1 Before the workshop, select your favourite resource for teaching a coastal or marine topic and/or invite 2 - 3 participants to do the same and to bring this to the workshop and briefly explain to the group why this is their favourite resource.

Also, you might bring a selection of useful resources to set up and display before the workshop. A complete listing of relevant sites on the Internet could also be devised to display the WWW resources available for coastal and marine studies (Activity 6)

Activity 4 You might like to provide a range of resources (perhaps from your display) for evaluation rather than the sample one in Resource 4.

Activity 5 You might be able to provide a different 'resource catalogue' (perhaps shorter or more directly focused on the teaching levels and subjects of participants) to the compilation in Resource 6.


Maccoll, P. (1989) Selecting and Evaluating Resources for Geography Teaching in J. Fien, R. Gerber and P. Wilson, (eds) The Geography Teacher's Guide to the Classroom, 2nd edition, Macmillan, Melbourne.

North American Association for Environmental Education (1996) Environmental Education Materials: Guidelines for Excellence, NAAEE, Troy, Ohio.

Tourtillott, L and Britt, P. (1994) Evaluating Environmental Education Materials, National Consortium for Environmental Education and Training, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Unger, Z. (1995) Analysing Educational Resources, in J. Fien (ed) Teaching for a Sustainable World, International Edition, UNESCO-UNEP IEEP and Griffith University, Brisbane.