Introducing a virtual database of rock outcrops of Southern Ontario

Thursday 2:00pm Tate 105
Oral Session Part of Thursday B: Teaching Online


Paul Ashwell, University of Toronto
Sheila Ballantyne, University of Toronto
Heidi Daxberger, University of Toronto
Phillip Ruscica, University of Toronto
Paolo Attanasio, University of Toronto
Aneila Ghanie, University of Toronto
Andreia Hamid, University of Toronto
Cheng Peng, University of Toronto
Jessica Wanzo, University of Toronto
Debora Rios, University of Toronto

A fundamental aspect of undergraduate Earth Science teaching is the application of knowledge and theory learned in the classroom on rock outcrops during field trips. During the COVID-19 pandemic, in person field teaching was no longer viable and so we were forced to reimagine teaching approaches and find ways to integrate local and field-based geology in a novel virtual classroom setting, while still facilitating active and experiential learning and maintaining high Professional Registration standards.

In 2021, the Government of Ontario created the eCampus Virtual Learning Strategy to help fund and produce virtual content for secondary and tertiary students. As part of this initiative, we have produced a virtual database of rock outcrops, thin sections, geochemistry and hand samples from a variety of locations showcasing the geology of Southern Ontario.

The "Virtual Petrographic Atlas of Southern Ontario" is a growing virtual resource that offers digital materials and resources in freely accessible Pressbooks, which are linked to the eCampus website. To ensure usability of the resources for student learning assessments, more detailed field site descriptions and materials are withheld from the public site and made available only upon request for instructors. Here, we will present two of the Virtual Atlases: The Central Gneiss Belt and The Central Metasedimentary Belt, and how to plan to implement these Atlases within our undergraduate curriculum as well as plans for expansion of the project.

Presentation Media

Presentation (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 102.3MB Jul14 22)