Joint 56th Annual North-Central/ 71st Annual Southeastern Section Meeting - 2022

Paper No. 42-2
Presentation Time: 1:50 PM


BRANDE, Scott, Dept. of Chemistry, UAB, 901-14th St. South, Birmingham, AL 35294

Among the many challenges for teaching a traditional introductory physical geology laboratory caused by the Great Disruption is the displacement of instruction to an online environment. In an on-campus traditional introductory laboratory on maps, students manipulate physical rulers on paper maps with bar scales to measure map distance for ground distance and slope calculations. The teaching and learning of these basic map skills in an online environment could not occur in this traditional and standardized way.

The necessity for teaching basic map skills in a remote environment required a re-envisioning of learning objectives and technology. I created basic map skill activities for the online environment by transforming the traditional measurement of paper maps with physical rulers to the measurement of distance on map images with embedded, superposed ruler images.

This new model for the measurement of distance on map images removes some significant barriers for the teaching and learning of basic map skills in an online environment. 1) No physical rulers are needed for measuring distance on a map with a bar scale. 2) Map images are delivered through the web browser, so no special software for viewing a map is needed. 3) The embedding of superposed rulers can be accomplished with basic image editing programs. 4) Embedded ruler images make ruler displays identical and standardized for all students. 5) A workflow for instruction based on embedded and superposed rulers assists students to scaffold skills. 6) Digital maps transformed by embedded superposed ruler images may be zoomed on display, a potential significant advantage over the visual reading of a paper map limited in size and the fine divisions of a physical ruler. 7) Fully online digital map activities may also be deployed to student laptops in the on-campus laboratory environment, thus standardizing face-to-face instruction.

I will demonstrate a workflow for creating digital measurable maps and distribute examples of map skill building activities using these products. Digital measurable maps may make map skill building more accessible to students in remote or on-campus environments.