MEA 110: Geolocation Technology in Place-Based Learning

Placed-based learning gets students out of the classroom to explore and interact with the physical environment. As part of an Exploratory Grant, the project team used geo-location and interactive technology along with the development of a rock identification app to bring geological concepts and applications to life for students for the MEA 110 Campus Geology Tour. 

Instructional Challenges

  • The ability for students to observe natural world and processes on their own time.
  • A goal to focus on the experiential learning methodology while using mobile technology as a tool and guide.


  • Redesigned Campus Geology Lab Tour in which students:
    • Use maps and GPS to locate tour stops on their personal mobile devices. Lab exercise (tasks) unlocks when students are in proximity. 
    • Respond to prompts from instructor (delivered via video) and various types of questioning with immediate feedback.
    • Take photos of rock formations to annotate and submit as part of answers to prompts. 
    • Take measurements using different types of phone applications such as: compass, inclinometer, accelerometer or gyroscope.
  • An interactive Rock Identification app for students to identify common rock structures found in the field.

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