Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2021-107
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2021-107

  03 Sep 2021

03 Sep 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

The Mid Atlantic Appalachian Orogen Traverse: A Comparison of Virtual and On-Location Field-Based Capstone Experiences

Steven Whitmeyer1, Lynn Fichter1, Anita Marshall2, and Hannah Liddle1 Steven Whitmeyer et al.
  • 1Department of Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, 22807
  • 2Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611-2120

Abstract. The Stratigraphy, Structure, Tectonics (SST) course at James Madison University incorporates a capstone project that traverses the Mid Atlantic region of the Appalachian Orogen and includes several all-day field trips. In the Fall 2020 semester, the SST field trips transitioned to a virtual format, due to restrictions from the COVID pandemic. The virtual field trip projects were developed in web-based Google Earth, along with other supplemental PowerPoint and PDF files. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the virtual field experiences in comparison with traditional on-location field trips, an online survey was sent to SST students that took the course virtually in Fall 2020 and to students that took the course in-person in previous years. Instructors and students alike recognized that some aspects of on-location field learning were not possible or effective with virtual field experiences. However, students recognized the value of virtual field experiences for reviewing and revisiting outcrops, as well as noting the improved access to virtual outcrops for students with disabilities, and the generally more inclusive experience of virtual field trips. Students highlighted the potential benefits for hybrid field experiences that incorporate both on-location outcrop investigations and virtual field trips, which is the preferred model for SST field experiences in Fall 2021 and into the future.

Steven Whitmeyer et al.

Status: open (until 23 Oct 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Steven Whitmeyer et al.

Steven Whitmeyer et al.

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Short summary
Field trips in a Stratigraphy, Structure, Tectonics (SST) course transitioned to a virtual format in Fall 2020, due to the COVID pandemic. Virtual field experiences (VFEs) were developed in web Google Earth and were evaluated in comparison with on-location field trips via an online survey. Students recognized the value of VFEs for revisiting outcrops and noted improved accessibility for students with disabilities. Potential benefits of hybrid field experiences were also indicated.