2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 25, 2003)
Paper No. 207-14
Presentation Time: 11:30 AM-11:45 AM

ONLINE FIELD TRIPS AS TOOLS FOR CRITICAL THINKING

DAWES, Ralph, Earth Sciences, Wenatchee Valley College, 1300 Fifth Street, Wenatchee, WA 98801, rdawes@wvc.edu.

In an online class on the geology of the Pacific Northwest, virtual field sites are used to construct key learning exercises. These virtual field trips are effective for engaging student interest and achieving critical thinking. The virtual field trips, which combine the virtual field sites with problem-solving exercises, are designed to:
Illustrate the themes covered by the course.
Use the scenic beauty of the Pacific Northwest to help engage and sustain student interest.
Provide examples of how rocks, structures, and stratigraphy are used to construct geologic history.
Have the students develop a deeper understanding of geology by having them explain and link together the geology and geologic history of the virtual field sites.

To offer Pacific Northwest Geology online, the class Web site (http://wvcweb.ctc.edu/rdawes/PNWindex.html) is integrated with classroom management software such as WebCT or Blackboard. Because the class Web site is separate from the classroom management software, the course materials can be readily ported to different classroom management programs.

Assessment of student work and student feedback in the class suggests the following conclusions: (1) the course Web site works better than a printed textbook for the purposes of the class. (2) The virtual field sites are the most popular aspect of the class. (3) By being carefully planned and integrated with the pedagogy of the course, rather than just for show-and-tell, the virtual field sites provide an excellent resource that can be used to help achieve high-level geologic learning outcomes.

2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 25, 2003)
Handout (.ppt format, 108.0 kb)
Session No. 207
Teaching Local Geology: An NAGT Session In Honor of Robert Christman
Washington State Convention and Trade Center: 2A
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 35, No. 6, September 2003, p. 525

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