Speaker: John W. Johnston (continuing lecturer, Earth and Environmental Sciences)
The Salt Tour is designed to engage and facilitate student learning in Earth 121 Introductory Earth Sciences at the University of Waterloo. It intentionally aligns with the foundational course learning objective of adopting the perspective of a Geoscientist, divided into four categories of thinking (spatial, temporal, field, and system). Visneskie’s (2021) BSc Thesis demonstrated that strategically assembling uniquely-created 360-degree photospheres with points of interest (i.e. 2D photos, figures, text) in Google Expedition improved learning. Visneskie then created a Photosphere Tour – Guide and Benefits of Virtual Field Experiences in Geoscience Education [Playlist]. Once Google Expedition retired and the pandemic temporarily forced classes online a ArcGIS StoryMap was created, refining what was learned using a class set of VR Viewers. Quantitative results from knowledge-based matching questions and qualitative results from Geoscience thinking short-answer questions showed improvements in learning and specifically helping students think like Geoscientists, equally among spatial, temporal, field, and system thinking. Enjoy the Salt Tour, effective at adopting the perspective of a Geoscientist and understanding salt, a precious and fascinating resource. This work was inspired and funded by the Faculty of Science, Dean’s Undergraduate Teaching Initiative at the University of Waterloo.
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