Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gc-2021-37
https://doi.org/10.5194/gc-2021-37

  01 Nov 2021

01 Nov 2021

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

Virtual Fieldtrips: construction, delivery, and implications for future geological fieldtrips

Jessica Helen Pugsley1, John A. Howell1, Adrian Hartley1, Simon J. Buckley2, Rachel Brackenridge1, Nicholas Schofield1, Gail Maxwell1, Magda Chmielewska1, Kari Ringdal2, Nicole Naumann2, and Joris Vanbiervliet2 Jessica Helen Pugsley et al.
  • 1School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Kings College, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK
  • 2NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, P.O. Box 22 Nygårdstangen, N-5838 Bergen, Norway

Abstract. Virtual geological fieldtrips have become increasingly popular over the last decade, with the advent of remote piloted vehicles (RPVs; drones) leading to progressively sophisticated photorealistic virtual outcrops (VOs). As the COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread international travel restrictions, virtual fieldtrips (VFTs) became practical, and necessary substitutes for traditional fieldtrips. This contribution explores two VFTs delivered to a master’s level Petroleum Geoscience course at the University of Aberdeen, normally run as traditional fieldtrips to the Spanish Pyrenees and Utah. The paper describes the delivery of these VFTs and examines student perception, gauged primarily through questionnaires. The VFTs were run in LIME, a software specifically designed for the interpretation of 3D models and the delivery of VFTs. Overall, the student questionnaires reflect the satisfaction of group with the teaching method and feedback was more positive for the virtual fieldtrips than the equivalent real-world trips in earlier years. Our findings also highlight several notable advantages associated with VFTs, including the ability to examine geology data at a range of scales, financial and access inclusivity, and reduced environmental impact. Several disadvantages with VFTs were also highlighted, including a reduction in social cohesion, and missing out on the experience of travelling and being outdoors. Our findings highlight implications for future application of VFTs and the opportunity to utilise both traditional fieldtrips and VFTs within a blended learning approach.

Jessica Helen Pugsley et al.

Status: open (until 27 Dec 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gc-2021-37', Glenn Dolphin, 15 Nov 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on gc-2021-37', David M. Hodgson, 22 Nov 2021 reply

Jessica Helen Pugsley et al.

Jessica Helen Pugsley et al.

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Short summary
Virtual fieldtrips have become a crucial resource during the COVID-19 pandemic within geoscience education. This study presents a critical evaluation of their use, using real world examples delivered to a masters level class at the University of Aberdeen. Our work highlights several key findings which can be used to help plan virtual field trips, and how associated disadvantages of their use can be mitigated through a blend of physical and virtual fieldtrips.
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