Dueling Sandboxes: Revising a Physical Geology Lab Course

Friday 3:00pm-4:00pm Beren Auditorium
Poster Session Part of Friday Poster Session


Christopher Berg, Orange Coast College
Randa Harris, University of West Georgia
The Physical Geology Laboratory is a two-hour weekly standalone course commonly taken by non-STEM majors to fulfill core science requirements at the University of West Georgia; most students are co-enrolled in the Physical Geology lecture course. In recent years, the faculty teaching the lab sections had sought to revamp several laboratory exercises that covered identification and interpretation of landform processes, including river systems, shoreline processes, and glaciers. These labs were largely based on the analysis of topographic maps; while a useful skill, the exercises were very static and students were not engaged. To promote a more dynamic classroom and promote student interest, these lab exercises were significantly revised in the Spring of 2017, replacing most of the activities requiring topographic maps with exercises incorporating Google Earth, a stream table, and two Augmented Reality (AR) sandboxes constructed within the Department of Geosciences. This presentation will describe specific activities developed to use these tools and direct student learning, provide examples of assessments, and report feedback from students and instructors about their experiences with the revised lab exercises.