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6 March 2014

A 3D Virtual Geology Field Trip

Location: Meeting Room 10, 2nd Floor, JLB
Time: 12:30pm - 13:45pm
Speaker(s): Prof Shailey Minocha, Tom Argles - Faculty of Science

As a part of The OpenScience Laboratory, (http://www.open.ac.uk/openscience/), an initiative of OU and The Wolfson Foundation, we have developed a 3D simulation of a Geology field trip based around Skiddaw in the Lake District, using the Unity 3D software (<https://learn5.open.ac.uk/course/format/sciencelab/section.php?name=skiddaw_1>). The interactions and the learning activities within the 3D environment are designed both to mirror the experience of a real field trip and to enhance it with additional functionality. During our presentation, we will address: comparison of the 3D experience with 2D virtual field trips; the role that a 3D virtual geology field trip can play in terms of preparation and reflection before and after a real field trip; and whether and how a 3D simulation helps in gaining geological fieldwork skills. We will also discuss some limitations of 3D virtual geology field trips. TOM ARGLES BIO: Tom Argles is a Senior Lecturer in Earth Sciences at the Open University. He is a member of the HiT research group (http://www8.open.ac.uk/research-groups/himalaya-tibet/), researching mountain-building processes in the Himalaya. His work has a strong base in fieldwork, not only in the Himalaya but other locations across the world, and he has co-authored 'Geological Field Techniques', a manual for geological fieldwork. He has been preparing teaching materials at the OU since the turn of the century, frequently at the interface between academic authoring and innovative multimedia owing to a misplaced perception that he is technically savvy. He has been involved in COLMSCT and eSTEeM projects researching the use of geospatial technologies in distance learning. SHAILEY MINOCHA BIO: Shailey Minocha is a Reader in Computing in the Department of Computing and Communications at The Open University. Shailey's recent research in digital learning has focused on the role of social software including 3D virtual worlds in virtual team collaboration, digital scholarship, research dialogues, and research skills training and development. Shailey's research on the design of learning spaces in 3D virtual worlds 'Designing navigation and wayfinding in 3D virtual learning spaces' received the Gitte Lindgaard Award for best paper at OzCHI 2011. Shailey led the design and development of the 3D virtual Geology field trip as a part of the Open Science Lab, funded by Wolfson Foundation.


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