Southeastern Section - 66th Annual Meeting - 2017

Paper No. 3-1
Presentation Time: 8:20 AM


SETHI, Parvinder and PHILIPPART, Dylan, Department of Geology, Radford University, Box - 6939, Radford, VA 24142-6939,

Continual advancements in instructional technologies offer new opportunities for educators to positively impact and enhance content in the classroom. However, competing tools for delivery of content often distract educators from being cognizant of the fundamental elements of robust instructional design. This paper will highlight such components of essential design as utilized in development of a series of Gigapan-based laboratory exercises at Radford University.

Effective instructional design must be (i) Rooted in: detailed storyboards, logical User-Interface design and professional-level photographic and videographic techniques, (ii) Possess immunity from: Proprietary program incompatibilities, Operating System restrictions and Open-source issues, (iii) Characterized by: clear learning objectives, Hypothesis-driven, virtual data collection and opportunities for basic statistical manipulation, (iv) Integrate pilot-testing and feedback analysis via: videography and Q&A with student-testers in actual laboratory/classroom setting, (v) Involve short-term and long-term assessment including: qualitative and quantitative metrics, with control groups, and (vi) Include faculty-training and dissemination to: empower local faculty at a national scale for developing applications involving local outcrops.

Recent research at Radford University has focused on adaptation of NASA-led, Gigapan robotic technology and 3-D interactive modeling software (Agisoft Photoscan and Sketchfab) for developing introductory-level lab exercises for geosciences. Specifically strategies will be shared that allow students to bolster critical-thinking skills for – (i) virtual exploration of geologic terrains, observation of patterns and statement of a scientific hypothesis, (ii) using embedded virtual metric scales for collecting quantitative data, (iii) manipulating such data via basic statistical techniques for testing of the original hypothesis.

Case studies will be highlighted that include quantitative Gigapans and 3D models from both U.S. national parks and local geological outcrops.