Eruption! has two learning objectives.  First, it's designed to motivate a discussion of the methods and tools used to evaluate volcanic hazards.  The exercise is designed to complement, not replace, other learning resources such as lectures, discussions, and textbooks.  For example, the information provided in Eruption! on the different types of monitoring equipment is purposely kept to a minimum and the user is not required to view this information to use the simulation.  Our aim was to make implementing Eruption! into existing courses as simple as possible.

At Dartmouth we've used Eruption! in introductory earth sciences courses since 2006. In some classes Eruption! has been used as a homework assignment, in others it has been a laboratory exercise, and in still others its been used as an in-class exercise.  The handout we use to introduce Eruption! and guide students through the creation of risk tables is available here.

Eruption! is also designed to improve decision making skill.  The pedagogic theory used in the design of Eruption! as well as our work demonstrating improved decision making after using Eruption! is documented in the following peer-reviewed papers.

Renshaw, C.E., and Taylor, H.A., 2000, The educational effectiveness of computer-based instruction: Computers and Geosciences, v. 26, p. 677-682.

Taylor, H.A., Renshaw, C.E., and Jensen, M.D., 1997, Effects of computer-based role-playing on decision making skills: Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 17, p. 147-164.

A project funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation Human and Social Dynamics Program