ViPs second meeting update: resource launch and future planning – August 24th-25th 2020

This online workshop reported on the work achieved by the Virtual Palaeoscience project over the summer of 2020. We presented our new and growing web-based resource, shared online resources available for teaching the palaeosciences and tips on creating new ones, explained our plans for the next stage of our project, and got lots of new ideas from attendees about what was needed and what is possible.

This project is by the academic palaeosciences community, for the academic palaeosciences community – join our work, contribute suggestions, use our resources, and help create a long-lasting resource which will help all our teaching in whatever context be more inclusive, equitable and accessible!

We appreciate that many people can’t commit to attending full days of workshops so ensured that partial attendance was possible, with talks recorded for later review. The workshop was divided into sections, focusing on different aspects of the ViPs project (e.g. virtual fieldtrips, “mix-and-match” online resources of many kinds to support teaching, pedagogy) so that attendees could just drop in when relevant to them. We also circulated a “feedback” form asking for ideas and suggestions, which was available to non-attendees as well as those who took part in the meeting. The REGISTRATION FORM has an option, for signing up for future information about the project, even if you didn’t attend the workshop.

Day 1 (24th August)

Sessions ran from 11:00 – 16:00

11 – 13:15: Talks from ViPs project working groups introduced the website and the progress and plans of groups focusing on virtual fieldwork, data collection and analysis, they built a collection of short “guest lectures” from experts across the world, and teaching palaeosciences online (presentations were recorded and made available online)

13:45 – 16:00: discussion focused on identifying gaps in existing resources and creative ways to address them (we recommended attending the morning talks to be able to contribute usefully to this session)

Day 2 (25th August)

Sessions ran from 11:00-16:00. We expected that many people would only be interested in one or two of these topics, and encouraged partial attendance if that helped.

The day began with a short introduction from the ViPs coordinating group about possible future projects. A series of workshops then gave opportunities for attendees to contribute to planning or being part of those projects, or propose new ones under the ViPs banner:

11:30 – virtual fieldtrips project (we aspire to create a “full suite of palaeosciences” virtual resource, where students can explore many aspects of the present and past of a landscape, and move from field to lab and data seamlessly)

12:45 – building a comprehensive resource bank (plans for the website and for our aspiration to create a toolkit of “mix and match” learning components to allow academics to enrich their own syllabus, including (but not limited to) videos, images, datasets, sample assessments, explainers etc. across all aspects of palaeoscience)

13:45 – pedagogic projects (for the majority of universities, switching to blended and online learning is a world-wide emergency response; finding out how academics and students actually respond, and learning from this shared experience, will help us do better, and we want to both embark on some multi-partner structured research over the coming year and to facilitate support and experience sharing between academics in the same field encountering similar challenges, helping us all be better at the teaching part of our role)

14:45 – the future of the ViPs project itself – looking at the wider picture.

Sign up register your interest, for future notifications, if you couldn’t attend the initial workshop!

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