iCrag logo overlying a screenshot of the iCrag website showing a rainbow coloured seismic section

iCRAG researchers secure virtual microscope funding

The Geoscience e-Laboratory (Ge-LAB)

A group of iCRAG members (UCC, TCD, NUIG and UCD) in partnership with the Open University have just succeeded in securing substantial funding from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education to develop teaching resources for the virtual petrological microscope. In the last ten years the development of the virtual microscope by the Open University has introduced a step change in the teaching and learning of Earth Sciences by providing users with an effective tool to examine the microscopic properties of rocks with flexible 24/7 online access. An outstanding feature of the virtual microscope is the ability to geo-reference any location on a specimen slide, similar to saving places on a GPS. This permits the design of self-guided, discovery-style virtual exploration tutorials in which students navigate from site to site, interpreting in ever-greater detail to increase understanding. The project which is entitled “The Geoscience e-Laboratory (Ge-LAB): Developing Digital Teaching and Learning Resources for the Virtual Microscope” seeks to develop open access teaching resources in the form of interactive exercises and assessment rubrics for the virtual microscope. The team look forward to engaging with the Irish geoscience community the coming months to seek support and advise on how to best develop teaching resources for the virtual microscope.

Project Team
University College Cork (Lead Institution). Dr. Pat Meere, School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences. (p.meere@ucc.ie)
Trinity College Dublin. Professor Balz Kamber, School of Natural Sciences. (kamberbs@tcd.ie)
National University of Ireland Galway. Dr. Shane Tyrrell, Earth & Ocean Sciences, School of Natural Sciences. (shane.tyrrell@nuigalway.ie)
University College Dublin. Dr. Julian Menuge, School of Earth Sciences. (j.f.menuge@ucd.ie)
The Open University. Professor Simon Kelley, Department of Environment, Earth & Ecosystems. (simon.kelley@open.ac.uk)

More information available.