The problem<br />Much research on the problem of spatial thinking<br />Idea of spatial ability (Eliot and Smith, 1983: Linn and Petersen, 1985)<br />Types of spatial ability: mental rotation, spatial rotation and <br /> spatial visualisation (Linn and Petersen, 1985); the 3 cognitive factors linked to high performance in science and mathematics (Lord and Rupert, 1995)<br />Recognition that spatial skills can be troublesome (Ishikawa <br /> and Kastens, 2005; King, 2006)<br />5<br />
The specific problem<br />Spatial skills are unevenly distributed among individuals; many students struggle with spatial tasks. <br />Ability to visualise 3-D spatial relationships is essential <br /> for students to progress in all GEES disciplines; many <br /> students find it difficult to acquire this ability. <br />Barriers to acquiring 3-D visualisation ability:<br /> - lack of confidence in understanding and dealing with 3-D<br /> spatial relationships; <br /> - few opportunities to practise & develop necessary skills;<br /> - teachers’ (often strong spatial thinkers themselves) lack<br /> of awareness of the degree to which some students<br /> are “spatially challenged”.<br />6<br />
Project outline<br />Two year project from September 2007 to March 2009<br />Alan Boyle, Maggie Williams, Peter Williams<br />Year 1 students starting geoscience courses in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Liverpool<br />Aim: To explore how using internet-based activities could enhance students’ understanding of 3-dimensional spatial relationships<br />7<br />
Project details<br />Internet- based activities for VITAL.<br />Identifieda target group of students (module EOSC 111)<br />Tested students’ spatial awareness before and after they<br />had usedtheseactivities on VITAL.<br />4. Encouraged students to work through activities and record:<br /> - when they encountered specific topics requiring them<br />touse spatial-visualisation skills, <br /> - any new web-links discovered whilst browsing on the web,<br /> - comments on the usefulness (or not!) of theactivities.<br />5. Recorded student portfolio comments. <br />6. Analysed student performance in spatial awareness tests.<br />7. Compared spatial awareness test results with results for a<br /> control group of students.*<br />8<br />
Project details - note<br />*Students who hadcompleted, apart frommodule EOSC 111, the<br />same Year 1modules as thosein theproject’s target group<br /> (and specifically modules EOSC 136Introduction to Geological<br />Maps and EOSC 139 – IntroductiontoFieldGeology): two<br />modules identified as those in whichstudents were required to<br />use spatialvisualisation skills.<br />9<br />
Advice to students<br />A. Key points to remember<br />1. We all understand 3D objects differently.<br />Our eye/brain systems are very clever, but sometimes let <br /> us down.<br />3. Some things are more difficult to understand than others, <br />butwe all have difficulty with 3-D visualisation<br />4. Be aware in your modules when 3-D visualisation is needed.<br />5. There are ways to improve - and practise makes perfect.<br />10<br />
Advice to students<br />B. General self-help techniques<br /><ul><li> Discussion - working with someone.
Practice - the more we look the better we understand.
Transfer - finding that what you understand in one module can</li></ul> be used in another. <br /><ul><li> Experience - be aware in your modules when 3-D visualisation</li></ul> is needed<br />C. Communications<br /><ul><li> Let us know what helps you – and what does not!
Let us know if you find new resources that could be useful.
Tell us if you find that some resources do not work or you</li></ul> need help.<br />11<br />
Project resources & activities<br />Volcanoes– using models & animations to understand dynamics of eruptions <br />http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/images/pglossary/index.php<br />http://images.google.co.uk/images?sourceid=chrome&q=active+volcanoes&um=1&ie=UTF8&ei=yfJlS8uvK9q5jAe4yd2jBw&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CBsQsAQwAw<br />19<br />
Project resources & activities<br />Volcanoes– using models & animations to understand dynamics of eruptions <br />http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoes_work/Eruption_model.html<br />20<br />
Project resources & activities<br />Seafloor Spreading in the North Atlantic Ocean<br />21<br />- shown by using animations : http://www.scotese.com/natlanim.htm<br />
Project resources & activities<br />Changing distribution of land and sea during the past - using interactive 3D <br />virtual objects - globes that you and manipulate, rotate, and view <br />Cretaceous / Tertiary Boundary <br />(65 million years ago)<br />Earliest Jurassic <br />(Sinemurian, 200 million years ago)<br />http://www.scotese.com/Default.htm<br />22<br />
Project resources & activities<br />Structures (as shown in photos, sketches, diagrams – and on maps)<br />23<br />
Structures (as shown in photos, sketches, diagrams – and on maps)<br />24<br />Project resources & activities<br />
Project resources & activities<br />Understanding maps using diagrams (e.g. Dipping beds and outcrop patterns) <br />As the beds are dipping they cut across the contours on the map(shown as dashed lines)<br />Beds dip north producing a V-pattern<br />pointing upstream in the valley<br />Beds dip south producing a V-pattern <br />pointing downstream in the valley<br />26<br />
Understanding maps e.g. Angular unconformity<br />Limestone covers over or oversteps several of the older series beds<br />h<br />Upper, younger layers are horizontal<br />Plane of unconformity represents a huge time-gap<br />Lower, older layers tilted/folded<br />27<br />
Understanding maps e.g. Recumbent folds<br />Youngest bed<br />Sedimentary structures would be inverted or upside down here<br />Oldest bed<br />Axial plane is between horizontal and 10°<br />28<br />
Project resources & activities<br />And - for those who prefer real things – paper models!<br />e.g. Synforms and antiforms<br />e.g. faults displacing inclined beds<br />http://www.fault-analysis-group.ucd.ie/<br />29<br />
Project resources & activities<br />Using interactive 3D geologic blocks<br />GeoBlocks 3D contains interactive<br /> movies exploring geologic structures <br />within blocks. <br />You can rotate the blocks, make them <br />partially transparent to view their <br />internal structure, cut through or <br />erode them, displace faults, and more.<br />http://geology.isu.edu/topo/blocks<br />30<br />
31<br />Project resources & activities<br />Relating activities to what students may be doing in the future<br />e.g. Pembrokeshire field course<br />Visit Amroth & log the rocks<br />
Make observations.<br />Keep records.<br />Draw conclusions.<br />Make interpretations.<br />Use your experience. <br />32<br />Use your 3-D visualisation <br />skills<br /> - to imagine a landscape <br /> 320 million years ago <br /> - to reconstruct past <br /> environments.<br />
What makes Earth scientists so useful?<br />Team working<br />Adaptability<br />Problem solving<br />Planning<br />Initiative<br />Communication<br />Analytical<br /><ul><li> Flexibility
Understanding of Earth </li></ul> systems<br /><ul><li> Imagination
Spatial visualisation</li></li></ul><li>Project resources & activities<br />e.g. What may you be doing in your future career?<br /> Producing a geological map?<br />Using 3D software in industry? <br />http://www.geomodeling.com/sbed_c.htm<br />http://www.dgi.com/earthvision/evmain.html<br />34<br />3D model building and visualization using 3D models for accurate well<br /> positioning, reservoir characterization and environmental analysis?<br />
Did you know?<br /><ul><li>There are tests you can try.</li></ul>http://www.ul.ie/~mearsa/9519211/newpage24.htm<br /><ul><li>Many companies, as part of their selection processes, use spatial aptitude tests to measure your cognitive and perceptual abilities with space and shapes. Your scores are compared with results of other candidates, vying for the same spatiality focused job.
Imagination, visualization and critical reasoning play important roles in determining your spatial skills.</li></ul>http://www.personality-and-aptitude-career-tests.com/spatial-aptitude-tests.html<br /><ul><li>Spatial deficiencies in females, but training can be used to eliminate the differences between males & females.</li></ul>http://www.ul.ie/~mearsa/9519211/onthe.htm<br /><ul><li>You are not alone.</li></ul>Why Some Students Have Trouble with Maps and Other Spatial Representations<br /> Toru Ishikawa & Kim A. Kastens<br /> Journal of Geoscience Education, v.53, n. 2, March 2005, p. 184-197.<br />35<br />
3-D Visualisation - part 2 <br />Did you know?<br /><ul><li>3-D visualisation isn’t just for Earth scientists!</li></ul>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK2N3PvaFcs&feature=response_watch<br />
Project results<br />What did evaluation of the feedback provided by students in their portfolios activities show? <br />We are grateful to our students for the time taken to provide this feedback <br />and for the useful, thoughtful commentsprovided.<br />37<br />
Resources and modules<br />Features of the best web-based resources:<br /><ul><li>Easy to use
At the right level for your current level of understanding</li></ul>Ones which you want to use again to <br />- refresh your memory<br />- revise<br />- practise on <br /><ul><li>Fun to use</li></ul>38<br />
Table 6. Example of a student record of the situations where he/she <br />had to translate between 2D & 3D<br />39<br />
Table 7. Examples of student comments on some of the web-based activities <br />used in semester 1 of the project<br />40<br />
Table 8. Examples of student comments on some of the web-based <br />activities used in semester 2 of the project<br />41<br />
Conclusions<br />Although results of tests of students’ spatial-visualisation abilities indicate different cohorts of students had different ranges of ability, test results did not show improvement with the ‘training methods’ introduced to students.<br />Our assessment of the effects of the project’s activities suggests that internet-basedactivities were valued by students, helped in improving students’ confidence and awareness and cognitive understanding of 3-dimensional<br />spatial relationships.<br />42<br />
Conclusions<br />It is helpful to give students opportunities to manipulate <br />data that will support their learning; allowing students to workattheir own rate on different activitiesenhances their ownership,engagement and understandingof concepts and increases theirconfidence in dealing with information in various dimensions.<br />Many of the web-based resources and activities used were chosen to be of relevance to students on Year 1 geoscience courses, but such resources and activities may have wider application.<br />Project resources and internet-based ‘training methods’<br />could be adapted for use in other GEES disciplines &/or deposited as an online national learning resource.<br />43<br />
References<br />Eliot, J. and Smith, I.M. (1983) An International Directory of Spatial Tests, Windsor, UK, NFER-Nelson.<br />Ishikawa, T. and Kastens, K.A. (2005) Why some students have trouble with maps and other spatialrepresentations.Journal of Geoscience Education,<br />53 (2), March: pp. 184-187.<br />Kastens, K.A., Manduca, C.A., Cervato, C., Frodeman, R., Goodwin, C., Liben, L.S., Mogk, D.W., Spangler, T.C., Stillings, N.A. and Titus, S. (2009) How Geoscientists think and learn. Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 90 (31): pp. 265-272.<br />King, H. (2006) Understanding spatial literacy: cognitive and curriculum perspectives. Planet, 17: pp. 26-28.<br />Linn, M. and Peterson, A.C. (1985) Emergence and characterisation of sex differences in spatial ability: A meta-analysis. Child Development, 56: pp. 1479-1498.<br />Lord, T.R. and Rupert, J. L. (1995) Visual-spatial aptitude in elementary education majors in science and mathtracks. Journal of Geoscience Education, 7: pp. 45-58.<br />44<br />
Appendix<br />The following lists show some of the ‘new’ items that students found useful after working through 3-D Visualisation – part1:<br />1. Various items on Youtube e.g.<br />Geologic modelling videos:<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr1VYrHpqTk<br /> <br />Geophysics modelling<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1GeNljM0T8<br /> <br />Geology terrain modelling<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cHEs3f21dA<br /> <br />The solar system<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syeqPLB6fYQ<br />45<br />
Appendix<br /> 2. Articles e.g.<br />Geoscientist article ‘Journey into the Earth’ by Paul R. Wood looks at<br />how explorationists today use cutting edge technology to visualise the <br />subsurface in 3D.<br />http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/gsl/site/GSL/lang/en/page2722.html<br /> <br />MATLAB simulation of sedimentary structures.<br />http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2005/1272/of2005-1272.pdf<br /> <br /> <br />New modelling package bridging the gap between reservoir and seismic.<br />http://www.geoexpro.com/sfiles/4/02/9/file/bridging24_26.pdf<br /> <br />46<br />