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Well-crafted and scientifically accurate videos and animations can be effective ways to teach dynamic Earth processes such as continental rifting, both in live course offerings as well as in online settings. However, a quick search of the internet reveals too few high-quality videos/animations describing deep Earth processes. We have modified a hybrid 10.5 min video/animation about continental rifting and the formation of new oceans and passive continental margins created for an upper-division geology audience, retailoring it for a lower-division geology audience. A key challenge in successfully modifying such resources is aligning the cognitive load that the video/animation imposes on students, in part related to the technical geoscientific jargon used in explaining such phenomena, with that which they encounter on these topics in their textbooks and classrooms. We used expert feedback obtained at a 2019 GeoPRISMS (Geodynamic Processes at Rifting and Subducting Margins) workshop in San Antonio to ensure the accuracy of the science content of the upper-division video. We followed this with a review of the terminology and language used in the video/animation, seeking to align the video narrative with the technical language used in introductory geology offerings, which we based on examining five current introductory geology textbooks and feedback from students in introductory geoscience courses. The revised introductory-level video/animation was piloted in an online introductory course, where it provided an improved conceptual understanding of the related processes of continental rifting, opening new oceans, and formation of passive continental margins.

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Geosciences, v. 11, issue 3, art. 140