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Exploring sustainable development in Hamburg virtually

picture CO2 meterExploring sustainable development in Hamburg virtually – through the lens of virtual field trips

The team of Universität Hamburg works in the Faculty of Education in the Department of Social Sciences, Mathematics and Natural Sciences education.

How will we contribute to V-Global?

Our main expertise lies in developing real and virtual field trips with a particular perspective on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as this is also a cross-cutting theme in teacher training at the Universität Hamburg.

To achieve our goal to further promote ESD for future teachers, we have already created a list of tools that are suitable to create virtual field lane image

An interesting way of working in this context is with 360-degree cameras. We have also digitized the first field trips in Hamburg on different topics, for example mobility, housing and energy with ArcGIS StoryMaps.

These examples of virtual field trips will be made freely available through the VGlobal website and thus further contribute to learning about theoretical concepts in real and virtual environments on ESD.

This combination is a first step to show didactical and methodological implementation of innovative and participative approaches to learning (and teaching) at university level.

Find out more about the VGlobal Project

Photos i) CO2 meter ii) bike lanes and mobility

vfe banner image

Virtual Fieldwork Experiences

The move to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has forced higher education institutions and schools to find new and innovative ways to teach their students. Using virtual field trips has increasingly become a pedagogical strategy for connecting students to important educational experiences. virtual field image

According to Granshaw & Duggan-Haas (2012), a Virtual Fieldwork Experience (VFE) is an enquiry-based teaching tool that allows a field site to be brought into the classroom. The VFE originates from Geography and Earth Sciences education,. It’s purpose is to simulate the experiences of doing research outside of a class or laboratory so that skills can be developed and knowledge gained.

VFEs can offer opportunities to explore sites that are not practical to travel to in person. They are useful as they allow immersive experiential learning opportunities to be undertaken so that students can practice and develop their skills in simulated situations and circumstances. This makes the fieldwork more accessible, inclusive and equitable. Fragile environments that may be under pressure from visitors can be visited without concerns over conservation and sustainability.

technology allows students to travel and experience the world in time and space

VFE imageA range of interactive digital learning tools, like drones, virtual reality headsets and the use of remote sensors, can be offered during Virtual Fieldwork Experiences to provide opportunities for students to develop their fieldwork skills. There may also be some situations in which specific fieldwork locations cannot be visited or when field visits take place at all.

The VGlobal project will explore and promote the use of virtual fieldwork experiences in higher education institutions and encourage teachers and lecturers to develop their own VFEs for their students.

Find out more about the aims and objectives of the VGlobal Project 

Reference: Granshaw, F.D. and Duggan-Haas, D., 2012. Virtual fieldwork in geoscience teacher education: Issues, techniques, and models. Geological Society of America Special Papers, 492, pp.285-303.