GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 190-13
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


FOLEY, Kristen1, TINIGIN, Laura1, PETCOVIC, Heather2 and SEMKEN, Steven3, (1)Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Western Michigan University, 1903 W. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, (2)Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences and The Mallinson Institute for Science Education, Western Michigan University, 1903 W. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, (3)School of Earth and Space Exploration and Center for Education through Exploration, Arizona State University, PO Box 871404, Tempe, AZ 85287-1404

Virtual Field Experiences (VFEs) are increasingly used as a teaching resource within the geosciences and are a current topic of geoscience education research interest. VFEs provide an opportunity to apply content knowledge to a field location without the traditional barriers of a field experience, for example, the need for additional time in the field, lack of departmental resources, poor weather, access to food, and navigating to remote sites. However, due to rapidly advancing technologies and available resources of the developer, VFEs include a broad range of formats such as collections of photos, maps, diagrams, videos, and links to additional resources on a static website; Google Earth; interactive panoramas; virtual and augmented reality; synchronous and asynchronous remote connections to users in the field; and more. In addition to VFEs, terms such as virtual learning environment, virtual field trip, virtual field resource, and more have been used to describe the range of learning experiences. With a wide variety of VFEs available for public use, a taxonomy is needed to classify and categorize VFEs. Future work on VFE development, and research on teaching and learning with VFEs, is hindered by a lack of community consensus definitions of terms and lack of a common VFE taxonomy. Here we review recent literature to identify the range of terminology associated with VFEs and identify common learning experiences associated with each term. By characterizing VFEs, we will help build a common, working definition to better identify each experience for use by educators, students, and researchers. To further a conversation about VFE taxonomy, our poster will invite viewers to comment on our findings of VFE terminology and learning experiences. We also make recommendations for future work necessary to provide clarity and conciseness for common types of VFEs.
  • Foley et al. 2019 poster.pdf (1.4 MB)