Resource Database: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Title Web-Based 'Virtual' Field Trip Package
Originator Dr Barbara Rumsby and Mr Dick Middleton
Department Department of Geography, The University of Hull, UK
Tel. +44(0)1482 466062
Fax. +44(0)1482 466340
Email B.T.Rumsby@geo.hull.ac.uk, R.Middleton@geo.hull.ac.uk


The Department of Geography is making increasing use of CAL and WWW resources within its teaching programmes. One initiative is the development of a WWW site in support of a Level 2 compulsory field trip to Tenerife (Field Study Module 16204).

Interest in the use of computerised software to provide 'virtual' field trips in geography has seen a major growth in the past 2-3 years. The graphical and interactive nature of computing systems is well-suited for this purpose and may give students an experience of a field site that is second only to direct observation. The WWW site developed within the Department covers an introduction to the physical geography of Tenerife, incorporating sections on vegetation, hydrology, geomorphology and geology. A large number of digital images are used, which have been specifically collected using the Department's Mavica digital camera. Each section of the site also contains a selection of carefully chosen links to other useful web sites. The package is used to prime students prior to departing on fieldwork, particularly important in the context of an overseas visit, and is also used retrospectively to help contextualise their field observations.

The WWW site is one part of an overall package used in support of the Tenerife field trip. Other elements include:

Student feedback on the Tenerife WWW resources is overwhelmingly positive and their level of preparation for the field visit is greatly enhanced. However, one important consideration that should not be underestimated is the large investment of staff time and effort that is required to develop the initial site materials. The development of the WWW site has been supported through the award of a Staff Development Strategic Project Grant by the University of Hull.

Keywords:

Digital images
Tenerife
Virtual fieldwork
WWW


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