Conceptual Learning Outcomes of Virtual Experiential Learning: Results of Google Earth Exploration in Introductory Geoscience Courses

Conceptual Learning Outcomes of Virtual Experiential Learning: Results of Google Earth Exploration in Introductory Geoscience Courses

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  • November 16, 2018
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Virtual globe programs such as Google Earth replicate real-world experiential learning of spatial and geographic concepts by allowing students to navigate across our planet without ever leaving campus. However, empirical evidence for the learning value of these technological tools and the experience students gain by exploration assignments framed within them remains to be quantified and compared by student demographics. This study examines the impact of a Google Earth-based exploration assignment on conceptual understanding in introductory geoscience courses at a research university in the US Midwest using predominantly traditional college-age students from a range of majors. Using repeated-measures ANOVA and paired-samples t tests, we test the significance of the activity using pretest and posttest scores on a subset of items from the Geoscience Concept Inventory, and the interactive …

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