Southeastern Section - 63rd Annual Meeting (10–11 April 2014)

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 10:40 AM


TSO, Jonathan, Department of Geology, Radford University, P.O. Box 6939, Radford, VA 24142,

The Geology of Virginia CD-ROM series, first published by Radford University in 2000-2003, is being converted to a web-based format. The original CDs were intended for primarily 9thgrade earth science students in Virginia and were tied to the Virginia Standards of Learning. The CDs provided computer-based instruction in geologic principles and in Virginia topics such as its physiographic and geologic provinces, and environmental and economic geology. The CDs and accompanying workbooks were distributed to high schools for use in school computer labs as a supplement to teachers’ classroom instruction. The software used to run the CD program is unfortunately not compatible with current versions of the Windows operating system, and as high schools have upgraded computer labs, they fell into disuse.

The current conversion to a web format revitalizes the CDs and allows for much greater flexibility in their utilization while retaining the outstanding content, graphics and images of the original CDs. The conversion involves a major redesign of the look and feel to allow for greater ease in navigating the many pages of the web site. Content that had been on different CD “slides” and on different CDs has been gathered into single web pages, with many internal and external links to create a better learning experience with more ways to explore the content. The web format allows for out-of-classroom use as homework and as a way to “flip” the classroom. Students can more easily work at their own pace since they are no longer tied to a class schedule. The web format allows for instant distribution and quick updates. This is important as Virginia periodically revises its Standards of Learning and its testing. The CDs were costly to manufacture and distribute; the web version is free and runs on all platforms and mobile devices.

Portions of the website have been available for teachers to use since Fall 2011. Initial teacher feedback has been very positive. Future plans include completing the conversion of the original CD series, and using the web site as the basis for teacher education courses in basic geology principles and in the geology of Virginia.