Field Trip Comics

Andy Bobyarchick
UNC Charlotte
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Structural geology field trips integrate learning, collaboration, and exploration. Creating a comic (or graphic novel) from a field trip promotes students' rendering their own popular culture view of the experience as well as reinforces the technical elements of the trip.

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Required undergraduate structural geology course, but the method is suitable for all levels.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Familiarity with an assigned topic in structural geology, understanding the objective of the project and how it is different from traditional end of term reports, technical ability to produce the comic.

How the activity is situated in the course

Culminating project.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Content varies with field trip or topical assignment. For field trips with a number of objectives, the project must represent all of those objectives. For field trips with a single purpose (joints, for example), the project expectation is more restrictive.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Integrating multiple events/activities to represent a whole. Discern what is geologically relevant from what is entertainment.

Other skills goals for this activity

Collaborative efforts; students work in learning groups.
Reducing information into graphical form with minimal narrative.

Description of the activity/assignment

This project is based on either a class field trip, or an assigned topic in structural geology. In either case, the students are responsible for representing their experiences in the form of a comic or graphic novel. The experience is therefore largely visual, but it gives students an opportunity to translate their thoughts into a non-traditional medium.

Determining whether students have met the goals

The project report is evaluated for: (1) technical content and representation, (2) cohesiveness, (3) relevance to topic, and (4) creativity.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Teaching materials and tips

Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs