Student choices, outcomes, and engagement with Self-guided introductory field experiences using the Flyover Country app

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

Session Chairs

Avery Shinneman, University of Washington-Bothell Campus
Amy Myrbo, Science Museum of MN
Shane Loeffler, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Field experiences are an integral and attractive part of an education in the geosciences, and considered formative by many students. However, at many institutions class sizes, transportation, and other barriers make field trips difficult to include in geoscience classes, particularly in lower-division coursework. Using the free "Flyover Country" app to design self-guided field trips that students can take on their own schedules, instructors can offer options for field trips that fit a student's own schedule and utilize local areas of interest. In testing with three Introductory Geology sections at the University of Washington – Bothell, students showed similar lab scores and similar engagement with field trip material, as measured on a post-trip survey, regardless of whether they attended the class field trip or went on their own time using the app-based guidance. Students who took the survey also cited work and family care commitments as the main reason they chose not to attend the class trip, reasons that disproportionately affect lower income and non-traditional students' ability to participate in field trips outside of class time. Understanding which students are missing out on introductory field experiences, and why, can help instructors to better utilize alternative options and technological bridges, like Flyover Country, to engage non-traditional students with connections to field experiences at the introductory level.