Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:35 PM


GORE, Pamela J.W., Department of Life and Earth Sciences, Perimeter College, Georgia State University, 555 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021,

The first fully online geology courses were offered at Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in the fall of 1998. This year marks the author’s fifteenth year of teaching geology lecture and laboratory classes online. Online courses are presented using WebCT/Blackboard as the course management system, with some course materials available freely online at the Georgia Geoscience Online website. These online materials, including the author’s Historical Geology Online Laboratory Manual, have been used as a resource by geology faculty and students across the U.S., and abroad. The Historical Geology Online Laboratory Manual will soon be published by John Wiley and Sons.

Laboratories involve students accessing boxes of specimens on reserve in the libraries on several of the College’s campuses in the Atlanta area. About half of the labs require the use of specimen boxes, with the others using maps, online activities, or laboratory manual exercises. Students come to campus to take proctored laboratory practical exams for their midterm and final exams. These are the same exams taken by the on-campus geology students.

With the required campus visits, one might expect that students taking the class would be limited to those within an hour or two of the college. However, students who really needed the course have driven from as far away as northern Kentucky, with one flying in from Bermuda. With advance planning and preparation, students are able to work on several labs during a weekend visit.

The author also developed an eCore (electronic Core Curriculum) Physical Geology course in 2001 for the University System of Georgia, which is offered at a number of colleges and universities around the state. In this course, students purchase laboratory kits or obtain them on their home campus.

Over the years, the online program at GPC has grown so that it is now the largest online college program in the University System of Georgia. Students may earn 16 two-year degrees online. The college also has Transfer Admission Guarantees with more than 47 four-year colleges and universities around the country.