Paper No. 12
Presentation Time: 4:15 PM


WANG, Ping, School of Geoscience, University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Ave, NES107, Tampa, FL 33620, DAVIS, Denise, Department of Geology, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, SCA 528, Tampa, FL 33620 and CALDWELL, Marianne O'Neal, Division of Mathematics and Sciences, Hillsborough Community College, 4001 Tampa Bay Blvd, Tampa, FL 33614,

Field trips provide essential opportunities for students to apply the knowledge they have learned in the classroom to understand and solve real-world problems, and to learn new knowledge in the field. Unfortunately field trips are typically limited to small classes and students’ ability to travel. With rapidly improving computer-based visualization and communication technology, field trips may be brought into the classroom virtually. This NSF-funded collaborative project is in the third year of developing, implementing, and assessing a virtual field trip for teaching an upper level undergraduate Sedimentary Geology at the University of South Florida (USF) and Introductory Physical Geology at the Hillsborough Community College (HCC). This presentation focused on the virtual field trip for the upper level Sedimentary Geology class.

Coastal Florida offers a unique setting for learning about a variety of modern depositional environments. The virtual field trip is based on a 4-day actual field trip for GLY4554 offered at USF. The filming, editing, and production of the virtual field trip have been completed. The beta version of the virtual field trip has been implemented in the spring 2012 offering of the GLY4554. The virtual field trip attempts to capture the essence of the actual field trip with similar learning goals, exercises, and assignments, and its effects are being compared with those of the actual field trip. The evaluation of project activities and assessment of educational impact is being conducted in cooperation with USF Coalition for Science Literacy. The educational effectiveness of the virtual field trip is being evaluated based on the following data that are being collected, including: assessments of student learning through pre- and post-tests and student perception survey through an efficacy test. The full presentation will illustrate the key aspects of the virtual field trip and the initial findings on the assessments of student learning.