Resource Database: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Title Developing Web-Based Learning And Information To Support Geoscience Courses
Originator Roger Suthren
Department School of Biological & Molecular Sciences: Geology, Oxford Brookes University, UK
Tel. +44 1865 48 4187
Fax +44 (0)1865 483242

As part of a resource-based learning project, it is our aim to provide a home page for each of our geoscience modules. Each module page contains links to academic and administrative information, and common links to the Library and study skills pages. Development of learning materials linked to each module is at various stages, ranging from on-line lectures and posters, to week by week guides to recommended Internet resources for particular topics. Some pages are being developed by students for course credit. Module pages include on-line tests (mainly using the CASTLE toolkit) to give students regular feedback on their understanding of topics, and in a few cases for summative assessment. Over the next few months, module-specific information will be linked to an on-line version of our course handbooks. The web pages may be accessed from:

From the module information home page (URL above) there are currently links to 17 out of the 34 available modules, as well as links to the library (home page and geology pages) and to the Georef on-line bibliographic database (

The WWW is used, in this context, to guide students through available resources. For example, an updateable on-line reading list. Lecturers can utilise existing materials rather than having to produce their own (don't need to reinvent the wheel).

An example of the use of existing resources is the use of 'Virtual Earthquake': this is an exercise to take students through the basics of locating the epicentre for a chosen 'quake, calculating Richter magnitude etc.. It tests graph reading skills, is well illustrated, has a step-by-step approach and allows progress to the next stage only after correct answers have been given. Successful students get a "Virtual Seismologist" certificate to print out - easy for the lecturer to mark!

Another example is the use of the CASTLE toolkit, based at the University of Leicester. The CASTLE toolkit has been developed so that Tutors and Course managers can create on-line interactive assessment tools quickly and easily without any prior knowledge of HTML, cgi, or similar scripting languages. There is a suite of applications which will eventually include on-line course assessment and student progress monitoring.


CASTLE toolkit
Interactive assessment
Resource-based learning
World Wide Web (WWW)

Keywords can be used to search for specific topics
Abstracts are also listed by Originator

Resource Database Home Page

Page created 5 June 2000
Database pages maintained by Phil Gravestock