Articles | Volume 17, issue 5
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1975–1984, 2013

Special issue: Hydrology education in a changing world

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1975–1984, 2013

Research article 24 May 2013

Research article | 24 May 2013

Teaching groundwater flow processes: connecting lecture to practical and field classes

V. Hakoun1, N. Mazzilli2, S. Pistre1, and H. Jourde1 V. Hakoun et al.
  • 1Département d'Enseignement des Sciences de la Terre, de l'Eau et de l'Environnement de Montpellier, Hydrosciences Montpellier, UMR5569, CNRS, Université Montpellier 2, 34000 Montpellier, France
  • 2Département d'Hydrogéologie, Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse, 84000 Avignon, France

Abstract. Preparing future hydrogeologists to assess local and regional hydrogeological changes and issues related to water supply is a challenging task that creates a need for effective teaching frameworks. The educational literature suggests that hydrogeology courses should consistently integrate lecture class instructions with practical and field classes. However, most teaching examples still separate these three class components. This paper presents an introductory course to groundwater flow processes taught at Université Montpellier 2, France. The adopted pedagogical scheme and the proposed activities are described in details. The key points of the proposed scheme for the course are: (i) iterations into the three class components to address groundwater flow processes topics, (ii) a course that is structured around a main thread (well testing) present in each class component, and (iii) a pedagogical approach that promotes active learning strategies, in particular using original practical classes and field experiments. The experience indicates that the proposed scheme improves the learning process, as compared to a classical, teacher-centered approach.