We’ve started making a lot of supplementary digital resources to help students get familiar with things like lab equipment before they go into the labs.
These are like virtual labs where the students can be shown how to use a piece of lab equipment and by clicking on things it throws out data which allows students to go through the process and learn about the techniques and results. We have found that there are groups of students that really appreciate having an introduction before they go into the labs. We find that students with autism/on the autism spectrum have found it particularly useful. It helps to reinforce the module and their learning experiences. It has also helped because students can often feel quite awkward saying that they have forgotten how to use a piece of equipment or don’t quite know what the results are showing them. Having this supplementary standalone digital material that students can work through has been helpful. We’ve also started to make generic lab tours where we use a 360 camera to create labs which the students can move around. Having similar resources for digital fieldwork to act as a supplement (and not a replacement) could be equally helpful. It can be used to reinforce certain parts of the day or let somebody see a certain outcrop before they go out.