GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 188-29
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM-6:30 PM


CLEVETTE, Ocean and SWANSON, Susan, Beloit College, Beloit, WI 53511

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, educators and schools all around the world were forced to adapt their curriculum and teaching practices to accommodate students in remote locations through online instruction. These accommodations addressed not only concerns about safety surrounding COVID-19, but also other ongoing accessibility issues within the field, such as travel constraints and creating equitable experiences for students with mobility impairments. Research on innovative uses of technology resources has shown that online and alternative field experiences can be useful tools to address these issues. Informed by this research, an existing glacial geology exercise used in introductory geology courses at Beloit College was enhanced to accommodate a wider range of students. The existing physical field trip was supplemented with an interactive Google Earth tour, as well as annotated photo and video guides. Additionally, reflections on the past year of adapted education and accessibility to class exercises are being collected from students and faculty. These data are being used to compile a collection of best practices for accessibility to field experiences and incorporating virtual learning opportunities. These best practices, that balance field experiences and accessibility efforts, will be used to create additional exercises suitable for introductory geology courses at Beloit College.