Project 2: Virtual Field Trip to Signal Hill and Environs
We envision an initial project called "Virtual field trip to Signal Hill and environs". One of three to be used in conjunction with Geology 3203, the other two being "Virtual field trip to Trans-Canada Highway, Foxtrap area and Manuels River", and "Virtual field trip to Marine Drive and Northeastern Avalon". The latter two are to be completed in the two subsequent years.
Signal Hill National Historic Park is not only remarkable from its human history but unique from the point of view that it lays bare large- and small-scale geologic features discussed in Geology 3203. In a tour that starts at Deadmans Pond, Just east of the Battery Motel, and proceeds to Gibbet Hill, Queens Battery and the crest of the Hill, students can view evidence of glaciation, see features of bedding, such as the sometimes difficult to grasp concepts of dip and strike and discrete variation of particle size in the sandstone-conglomerate formation and how this relates to changes in the ancient environment. The top of the Hill provides more than just a panoramic view of The City, but here we illustrate the concept of the syncline and by extent, the much larger scale geosyncline (both of which concepts occur in the course material) and indicate glacial features, such as erratic boulders which are in evidence in the Ross Valley-North Head area to the east of the Tower. The trip continues down the east slope of the Hill to Ross Valley-North Head and along a narrow walking trail which traverses the west face of the Hill and back to the junction of Signal Hill Road and The Battery.
It is difficult to teach a descriptive science like Geology from only a textbook. Some concepts require hands- or eyes-on contact for their effective teaching. With the cost of busing, shortage of substitute time and the necessity of taking students away from other classes, it is becoming increasingly difficult to avail of the field trip as a teaching tool.. This project -though not the real thing- is intended to fill the instructional void by providing a degree of access to this material.
The intent is to acquaint students with evidence of past glaciation, sedimentation and the rock record, larger-scale structural features and to "develop an appreciation of the value of geologic knowledge". (Geology 3203 Course Description) Both the goals and the content are addressed directly in the Course Description. We feel the applicability of the content vis-a-vis the Description is self-evident.
Because winter is not a good time to conduct Geological field work (in fact, undertaking Signal Hill in winter could be suicidal), we propose a start date of April-May 1998 when the weather is more clement. However, identifying and establishing links, script writing etc. could be started ASAP.
Our project idea will be an online activity that will teach those concepts attained through an actual field trip. Through the use of the World Wide Web students will visit our "Virtual Field Trip" site as well as other related sites. They will observe student-produced photographs, diagrams and explanations. They will explore relevant links as researched by their peers.
We see about ten students involved in the production of this project, with their roles ranging from photography to script writing to Internet research to establish suitable sites to provide useful links to elaborate on items of subject material and support the project generally. The students involved in the actual production will, of course, develop and hone their HTML skills.
Our initial production idea involves:
Once the virtual field trip has been produced it will be an integral part of the Geology 3203 curriculum. At Queen Elizabeth we have 3 Geology classes with a total of 100 students. All these students will use this resource to enrich Geology concepts. As well, any person visiting our web site will have the opportunity to explore this learning resource.
The project is meant primarily to support the Geology 3203 offering in the Science curriculum. However, one can see it supporting some areas of the Geography course offering and possibly even with application in Cultural Heritage.
On completion of the unit, students will have developed an increased level of knowledge of the geological concepts presented by the field trip.
Specifically, they will be able to explain with the aid of diagrams, photographs, videos, and hyper-links where applicable:
We envisage the completed project to be:
Through student observation and task monitoring, the lead teachers intend to develop practical and reasonable production goals. Students will develop competent Internet, media production, writing, and research skills. Through this activity student production managers will enhance their ability to work independently and make sound, responsible decisions.
The learning outcomes and evaluation are express and implied in the general and behavioral objectives stated in Curriculum Connections, above. It is our belief that completing the virtual tour will reinforce the learning of core concepts in Geology. These concepts will be tested in the mid-term and final summative evaluation.