DEVELOPMENT OF VIRTUAL PHYSICAL GEOLOGY LABS
This new virtual course is equivalent to a face-to-face lab with 11 weeks of course material delivered over 30 hours of class time. Students in either setting will cover the same content, allowing the resources developed for the online course to be tested as supplementary resources in Fall 2012 with approximately 375 students. We have created these virtual labs and resources from a tutoring framework that focuses on the one-on-one interaction between an expert (tutor) and novice (tutee) and the feedback that informs, or scaffolds, that interaction. As a result, resources include concise, instructional videos that illustrate content and skill development, as well as responsive lessons and quizzes that adapt to student input.
We are examining how students utilize these resources when they are assigned vs. available for reference to better understand how they are valued by students. Comments are being collected to assess how students respond to the format and delivery and what they perceive they gain (or do not gain) from their use. We will also be comparing answers to common assessment questions from students who accessed the digital resources and those who did not. We predict that students who access these videos in addition to other course resources will develop a more comprehensive knowledge of important geoscience concepts.