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Participatory toolkit A guide of tools and methods for collective creation of Virtual Field Trips

What is a participatory process, and for whom? Can we create a Virtual Field Trip collectively? What participatory tools could we use?

We are happy to announce the release of our participatory toolkit!

V-Global Participatory Toolkit

The main goal of this toolkit is to provide methodological steps, tools, and techniques for co-designing Virtual Field Trips (VFTs) and to familiarize teachers with blended learning methods and participatory tools. It is a self-explained guide that can be used to apply a common glossary among tutors and professionals in geography and urban planning/design.

Image 1. Problems and ideas collective mapping with the residents in Halandri Neighborhood, Athens source: commonspace

The main target groups are the following:

  • Teachers in higher education.
  • High education students and academics.
  • Researchers in the fields of geography, urban planning and spatial design.

In this toolkit you can find the following chapters and content:

  1. What is a participatory process? A more theoretical framework regarding participatory processes.
  2. The goal and target groups of the participatory toolkit
  3. Step by step process in Athens and Hamburg. The different participatory methodologies that the project partners followed to experiment and create Virtual Field Trips in the two cities.
  4. Different examples of methodological frameworks. The different methodological workflows and approaches that the project partners have developed and followed during their Virtual Field Trips creations.
  5. Categories and examples of participatory tools. Tools, blended learning methods, guidelines, participatory techniques, easy-to-use templates, links to tutorials and tips to match digital tools to physical processes and participatory steps.


Image 2.SWOT template. Source: commonspace’s participatory LAB,

This toolkit proposes a variety of proposed tools that you can use to design a participatory process and create your Virtual Field Trip, by combining field work with digital techniques. The tools are dived in categories such as:

  • Aspiration mapping, brainstorming & Co-design of field trips and excursions
  • Sensory mapping (sensations, perspective, sentiments)
  • Collaborative SWOT analysis tools
  • Data collection and Mobile data collection tools
  • Story-telling and story map tools
  • Consultation/ Voting/ Evaluation tools

We invite you to use our toolkit, walk around and discover your local environment, collect your data, choose collective processes and get inspired to create your Virtual Field Trips with your team!

Creating Virtual field trip with V-Global in ArcGis

The  goal of this event is to explore ways to use virtual journeys to raise awareness among university professors regarding global change and sustainability education. Digital storytelling maps (DSM) are employed as one of the most powerful tools to create virtual journeys.

The workshop was organised in a theoretical and practical way with a participatory field trip in the city with Geotechnologies. At the theoretical part, it has been explained the project results one (PR1. State of the art on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)) and two (PR2. Design a didactic and pedagogical approach to use virtual field trips in a ESD perspective).

Additionally, it has been done an invitation to the participants to join the MOOC as both PR have a module each about them available on a MOOC, which are now being translated to several languages on the edX UNED Abierta platform (make a search inside: looking for the image of the Athens acrópolis).

Geotechnologies and participatory field trips for sustainability education enhanced the workshop to explore, through direct observation on a stroll through the city of Albacete, the imprints that global change leaves on the urban landscape. Inside a previous story map was created an interactive city map : using coworking and collecting points in a Survey123 questionnaire.

During the workshop, other initiatives of the project were explained (The University City of Madrid as a sustainability laboratory in a virtual fieldwork) and other considerations and perspectives on the use of ICT in educational field trips.

Attendees unanimously stated that the event venue and the presented content have contributed to a greater understanding of the V-Global project. 80% affirm that the content helped to improve their teaching perspective regarding sustainability education, although 20% are unsure. It was noted that the session was agile and educational, with speakers demonstrating mastery of the tools showcased. Attendees found it interesting for potential application in secondary education. They would have liked to see more examples. There is a request to minimize the use of acronyms and instead repeat full names.

 Multiplier event in UNED, November 2023 ( Credits : Maria Luisa De Lazaro Torres, 2024)

Teaching Global change at university

V-Global is an innovative initiative aimed at introducing university teacher to the dynamic world of virtual field trips as a powerful pedagogical tool for addressing critical topics like sustainability and Global Change. At a time of climate change, teaching environmental and sustainability issues in higher education is a major challenge. How are these subjects addressed in higher education curricula? How can ESD be developed at university? These questions will be the focus of this forthcoming seminar event, which will present the analysis carried out on this subject as part of the Erasmus Plus V-Global project.

To learn more about this, please sign up by registering for our first multiplier event on Monday 23th October 9:00AM to 11:00AM (ECT).

Develop your teaching skills for environmental issues by registering for the MOOC Virtual Field Trip and Global Change: A Blended Learning Approach. The MOOC will open on 18 October 2024. Link to register for this course .

General Objectives:

  • Promoting Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at the university level by guiding university educators in adopting digital and innovative teaching practices, such as virtual field trips.
  • Ensuring the provision of high-quality higher education, striving for excellence, and contributing to the development of a knowledge society by integrating teaching methods that address the challenge of enhancing students’ digital skills
  • Cultivating collaborative blended teaching concept within the framework of ESD.

Photo by David Tip on Unsplash

Athens’ Real Virtual field trip

As part of the V-global project, we realized a real fieldtip in Athens in May 2022.

The data collected allowed us to collaboratively create 5 virtual terrains on global change. These virtual fields are based on a common methodology.

Methodology to create VFT

  1. Identify keywords and choose a problem
  2. Identify 5 relevant datas
  3. Geolocate them
  4. Build the scenario of the virtual field trip
  5. Elaboration of the virtual field trip

The virtual fields were then created using different tools: Storymap and Genially. The renderings are varied and present the different ways of exploring the space virtually.


Virtual Field Trip created

The Université Paris Cité’s field trip is based on a sensitive approach to the field. It is enhanced by artistic representations of the space.

The virtual field trip of Universität Hamburg is participative and includes tools like limesurvey or filling the blanck.

The virtual field trip developed by Eurogéo is based on a more conceptual (with a heuristic map) and visual approach with visual panoramas of the area.

Commonspace has developed a virtual field trip  on the scenes of everyday life with both an interpretation of spatial practices and an illustrated road trip.

Finally, NTUA’s virtual field trip  proposes a historical approach of Athens put in perspective with a spatial reading of the city.

Photo credits : David Tip on Unsplash

V-Global field trip in Athens

The first V-Global project field trip took place on the 3rd and 4th of May 2022 in Athens. 25 participants from all over Europe visited the city following 4 itineraries presented here.

The fieldwork allowed participants to collect geolocalized data (photos, sounds, videos, feelings) with the geolocalization applications: SW Maps and GeoTag. The participants engaged in a collaborative work with Miro. They shared their experiences, recorded their ideas, and selected the most relevant data. The discussions helped build the narrative of the virtual field trips that are now being developed.

Credits : Caroline Leininger-Frézal, May 3 2022, Athens town centre


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

V-Global Project Launches

We are pleased to announce the launch of the V-Global Project! student work

The project brings together partners from 5 countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece and Spain). The consortium is led by colleagues from the University of Paris working in an interdisciplinary team in terms of training and research. The partnership includes 4 universities, a European non-profit organisation and an interdisciplinary planning and design workers collaborative organisation.

The focus of the project is on developing a better understanding of the impact of virtual fieldwork for empowering participative university level studies.

You can find out more about the aims and objectives of the project here.