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ERIC Number: EJ887493
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0047-231X
Virtual Field Exercises in the Online Classroom: Practicing Science Teachers' Perceptions of Effectiveness, Best Practices, and Implementation
Clary, Renee M.; Wandersee, James H.
Journal of College Science Teaching, v39 n4 p50-58 Mar 2010
A new challenge in science education at the university level is the implementation of effective field components within online courses. In nationwide online graduate geoscience courses composed of practicing teachers (N = 130), Google Earth laboratory exercises were incorporated to provide virtual field experiences. Student opinions of these activities were collected via an optional, electronic survey; most students (N = 99) participated. Although many students enjoyed the modern technology of Google Earth, some felt frustrated with the assignments' format. Content analysis of student responses revealed three stable suggestions for successful online implementation of Google Earth: (1) The activities should be modeled via video lectures, (2) each activity should be supplemented with identified landform examples, (3) and the number of identifications per assignment should be optimized for learning. Students independently noted that investigation of "real-life pictures" of Earth, the use of online mapping technology in distance learning, and the application of Google Earth within their own classrooms were overwhelming benefits of virtual field experiences in online classrooms. (Contains 5 figures.)
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A