Virtual Petrography

Virtual Petrography
https://planetearth.utsc.utoronto.ca/VirtualMic/


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The Virtual Petrography website is an open educational resource that is geared toward educators who teach introductory to intermediate level courses in optical mineralogy and petrology. This web database of digitized thin section and hand samples enables students to learn and practice laboratory skills usually done by using a polarizing microscope such as describing and identifying minerals and rocks based on optical properties.

Through the "Share Custom Selection" option, Virtual Petrography offers instructors and teachers the opportunity to create custom sample set links by selecting samples from a pool of interactive virtual thin sections, 3D hand sample models, sample photographs as well as a number of classification diagrams. The selection can then be delivered to students as a coherent laboratory set directly embedded within any Learning Management System (LMS) or as a simple link in an exercise description. The virtual thin sections enable the students to actively simulate the use of a polarizing microscope by rotating the stage, applying a polarization filter (PPL versus XPL), and changing magnification. This supports learning goal achievement by helping students to gain confidence in their skills by facilitating practice at home, and can also alleviate issues such as equipment availability, room capacities, sample variability, use during lectures.

 

Key Areas of Virtual Petrography for Earth Educators

Grade Level

College Lower (13-14)
College Upper (15-16)
High School (9-12)

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