Paper No. 15
Presentation Time: 11:45 AM
EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF ANIMATED TOPOGRAPHIC FLY-THROUGHS ON STUDENTS' GEOGRAPHIC NOVELTY SPACE DURING A GEOLOGY FIELD TRIP
This research measures the effect of viewing electronic course materials such as educational documentaries, images, and animations pertaining to up-coming field stops on field trips on students' novelty space' (Orion and Hofstein, 1994). Specifically the research evaluates the impact of topographic animated fly-throughs created with Google Earth Pro on student geographic novelty space during GeoJourney. GeoJourney is a field program during which students embark on a 14,500 mile field trip across the United States (http://www.geojourney.org). The field trip visits geologically significant field sites in National Parks such as Yosemite, Glacier, Mount St. Helens, Death Valley, Badlands, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Great Smoky Mountains. The curriculum taught as part of GeoJourney includes field-based introductory-level courses in geology, Native American studies, and environmental science. The program is nine weeks long and typically involves 20-30 undergraduate students. A variety of electronic course materials were available to students via video iPods such as educational documentaries, images and photographs, and podcasts pertaining to the field sites visited on the excursion. Topographic animated fly-throughs of geomorphic provinces were viewed on video iPods by the students on GeoJourney while traveling in vans or in camp at night prior to arrival at the National Parks. The fly-throughs provided students with spatial information about geomorphic provinces that ranged from map views of the North American continent to landscapes views of characteristic geomorphic features. The animated fly-throughs were saved as .mp4 files and managed using iTunes. Assessment of the utility of the electronic course materials and animated fly-throughs on student novelty space included data from the Novelty Space Survey and personal interviews. Students indicated that the electronic course materials were useful study aids and gave them a better idea of what to expect at upcoming field stops. Video segments and audio files are part of this presentation.