Intro Geology Online????? With a field component??? Yes . Please.

Monday 2:00pm E Building 220
Oral Session Part of Monday Oral Session B


Daina Hardisty, Mt. Hood Community College

I always have thought one should use the best textbook on Earth to teach Geology... and that is the Earth! Prior to COVID-19, I swore I would NEVER, EVER, NEVER teach Geology online because I could never imagine how to use the Earth as the textbook if I could not have students do a field trip. Application of learned concepts in the field is a fundamental aspect of my face-to-face classes. Yes, I know, they could do a field trip on their own, but then there is no interaction and ability to have a conversation about the Geology of a particular site. Online classes need interaction. Often discussion posts are supposed to add that interaction, but with lots of words, sometimes too many words for some of us.

Field trip discussion posts not only allow engagement of interaction, but also low stakes hypothesizing one's personalized field trip. Additionally, it also allows for sharing of a field trip photo. Just a reminder, a picture is worth a thousand words, so one can add more words of geology to the photo by hypothesizing about geology of the photo and discussing this with classmates, similar to what one would do on a field trip.

The feedback I've received from students is that they look forward to seeing what other classmates post for their field trips. I've watched some of their interactions, observations, questions and analyses about what was posted. Some students particularly enjoyed seeing the end field trip compilation that is the final part of the field trip portion of the course. For an introductory Geology course, I feel these personalized online field trips work as a substitute for my guided field trips, so that they get the field component of the course as well as use their local Earth as their textbook.

Presentation Media

Personalized Student Field Trips in Online Intro Geology Class (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 58.2MB Jul10 23)