The Indiana Geology Field Experience was created in 2001 as a distance learning laboratory. The original course included 12 videotapes, and students were required to spend several Saturdays attending field trips with faculty. Dr. Bob D. Hall, now retired, is responsible for the original video based distance learning course. Demand for the course was low, and it was temporarily dropped from the course schedule.
In 2006, creating an online laboratory became more feasible with new technology. The idea is the same, but the new course relies on online resources and workbook exercises in lieu of video lectures. We decided to let students do the field trips on their own, and use MP3 players to listen to mini-lectures, as if the professor was at the park with you. We also added workbook exercises similar to the types of activities students do in an on-campus laboratory. We believed students would rather do activities related to geology than watch video lectures.
By making students more involved, our hope is more students will be interested in trying an online laboratory. There are several primary differences between this lab and a lab you would take on campus:
- There are no required class meetings on campus.
- Required field trips are completed on the student's own schedule, within a time frame of 3-4 weeks available for completion.
- Communication will occur through announcements and emails within Oncourse.
- Lectures are delivered by web pages, downloadable audio files, and video streamed from webpages within Oncourse
- Workbook and field exercise assignments are submitted as PDF's submitted through Oncourse "Assignments" or by mail or drop-off to your instructors mailbox.
- The student is expected to manage their time well, in order to allow time to ask the instructor questions before a due date.
Different members of the Department of Earth Sciences will be teaching the sections of this course. You want to contact your specific course instructor-he or she will answer all your questions and assess your performance.
The online modules, field trips, and updated video production were completed by Chris Thomas and Jennifer Nelson in the Department of Earth Sciences. Dr. Bob Hall provided the original concept of this course. Randy Newbrough with the Center for Teaching and Learning assisted with all videography in the original course and assistance in the redevelopment. Chuck Fearnow, with the Community Learning Network, assisted with the development and distribution of this course.
Assistance in the production of this course is due to help from the Center for Teaching and Learning and IUPUI Digital Media Services.