GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 153-6
Presentation Time: 3:00 PM


CARRIGAN, Charles W., Dept. of Chemistry & Geosciences, Olivet Nazarene University, One University Ave., Bourbonnais, IL 60914

Publicly accessible, short form videos on topics in geology have grown tremendously in recent years. These videos have largely been created as educational tools, addressing specific topics from an instructional perspective. I have tried a different approach, to create “vlog” style videos on geoscience topics, with the purpose of creating content for geoscience outreach. This is, of course, a different style of video content creation than has normally be used in science communication, and its efficacy needs to be explored. In contrast to education-style videos, vlog-style videos are often first-person driven, and used for travel, special events, or personal information and development. Fundamentally they can communicate virtually any kind of information, but they lack the formal learning goals and formative assessments that characterize traditional educational videos. As a fundamentally different kind of video style, vlog-style videos may be able to reach a unique audience that traditionally designed educational videos may not reach, but how effective can they be while lacking formal educational components? A critical element of this communication medium is story-telling; constructing a narrative through audio and visual content that makes use of compelling elements such as characters, setting, plot, and themes, and which are placed within an introduction, go through some development, and are brought to a conclusion. Skills required to create these kinds of videos are numerous, including technical (video frame rates & resolutions, camera equipment, video software, animations), communicative (poise, voice articulation, eye contact), and artistic (concept, shot selection, color tones, sound effects and music) skills, to name just a few. Geology field trips provide an opportunity to tell these kinds of stories through first person experience, where places, characters, skills, and ideas can be explored, potentially opening up these experiences to many more people than the students in our classrooms. Inspiring settings provide the backdrop to telling the geological stories contained within the rocks, and the story of the people learning about them and valuing them. Numerous challenges exist, including student privacy issues, time conflicts, managing student expectations, and more.