Introductory Geological Mapwork—An Active Learning Classroom

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Articles and Special Issues
Drennan, G. R., & Evans, M. Y. (2011). Introductory Geological Mapwork—An Active Learning Classroom. Journal of Geoscience Education, 59(2), 56-62. DOI: 10.5408/1.3580759
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First year Geology students at the University of the Witwatersrand experience problems with both three-dimensional and “four-dimensional” (or time) visualization when attempting to interpret geological maps. These difficulties have been addressed by the introduction of hands-on modeling exercises, which allow students to construct three-dimensional geological structures and examine their projection on maps and cross-sections. The modeling exercises also enable students to understand the interaction between geological processes such as faulting, folding, tilting, erosion and deposition, and the resultant landforms that these processes create. Pre- and post-tests were conducted to determine the success of the intervention, which revealed an improvement in the students’ abilities to understand geological concepts and to solve geologi- cal problems relating to map interpretation.


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