Bringing the Field into the Classroom by Using Dynamic Digital Maps to Engage Undergraduate Students in Petrology Research
Theresa M. Boundy, Christopher Condit September, 2004 Journal of Geoscience Education v52 n4 p313-319

We utilize Dynamic Digital Maps (DDMs) in our undergraduate petrology courses to bring in accessible and exciting volcanic field areas to the students in the class room and to engage the students in research experiences. A DDM is a stand-alone computer program that presents interactive geologic maps, digital images, movies, animations, text and data ( We have developed exercises that use two different DDMs to provide field-based context for undergraduate research projects in petrology. The projects include a group research project on the evolution of the Tatara-San Pedro volcanic complex (Central Chilean Andes) and a laboratory exercise that studies magma evolution of the Springville Volcanic field (Arizona, USA). To assess the impact on student learning we administered a student assessment before and after the Tatara-San Pedro research project. We found significant gains in both students’ confidence in ability to do research and to under stand petrology. The DDM template is presently being converted to a cross-platform open-source format that will enable others to make their own DDMs for any field of interest. DDMs are versatile and can potentially be adapted effectively from 100-level introductory geology labs to research-oriented graduate level courses and in a variety of geologic sub-disciplines.

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Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
Special Interest: Spatial Thinking
Research on Learning: Instructional Design:Teaching in the Field, Ways Of Learning:In the Field, Spatial Intelligence:Maps, Instructional Design:Use of Technology