2012 Annual Science Report

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Reporting  |  SEP 2011 – AUG 2012

EPO Activity: EPO Report in Virtual Field Trips

Project Progress

The MIT NAI team continues to work on a suite of Virtual Field Trip products. This year, we continued our collaboration with the ASU NAI team and the Australian Center for Astrobiology on two VFT projects – the Flinders Rage of Australia, and Shark Bay, Western Australia. The Flinders Range and Shark Bay VFT are now in a beta version and we are working towards evaluating the VFT as an effective teaching tool across a wide variety of audiences, from middle schools to colleges to informal learning environments. This process has involved a huge number of partners as we explore learning philosophies and work hard to create a product that will not only be engaging and entertaining, but educational as well.

Our role has focused on content creation, making sure the scientific data present in the VFT’s is accurate, and working with Geoffrey Bruce on development of questions and quizzes within the VFT’s that will challenge students and help them to learn the material while providing an engaging leaning environment. In addition, EPO Lead Cohen has been using the VFT’s in small in-person undergraduate courses and provides feedback on these uses to Bruce to further ensure that the VFT’s are applicable to a wide variety of audiences.