Virtual Reality Strike and Dip Tool

Wednesday 2:05 PT / 3:05 MT / 4:05 CT / 5:05 ET Online
Teaching Demonstration Part of Teaching Demonstrations


Natalie Bursztyn, The University of Montana-Missoula


The Strike and Dip tool itself will be demonstrated: all its functionalities, how to use it, the different mapping environments, how to navigate, etc.


The strike and dip tool is currently a web/desktop based virtual reality teaching instrument designed to practice taking strike and dip measurements and using those measurements to compile a geologic map. We have 5 different mapping environments and 4 different settings that adjust the level of challenge within the mapping environment. The tool is designed to be used in conjunction with a blank map so that a student working within the virtual mapping environment must still transcribe data to their own map and make their own geological interpretations. The activity we have currently designed for use within the virtual environments is to make a geological map and accompanying cross section. The tool has been pilot-tested at three different institutions with encouraging first results!


It is used as a lab exercise to teach the use of strike and dip measurements for making a geologic map and cross section. It is an alternative to learning these skills on a field trip. The target audience is undergraduate students in early stages of learning field mapping such as an introductory physical geology course or introductory field techniques exercise.

Why It Works

It is a highly interactive virtual reality pedagogical tool where the act of taking field measurements is practiced within a controlled environment that is relatively easy to implement for online learning. Students can practice learning field field mapping without physical, geographic or cultural barriers to the field itself, as well as without (high) financial or logistical barriers.

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