Virtual Palaeoscience (ViPs)

Collating, curating and developing virtual lab and field trip resources for palaeoenvironmental teaching

Why is this project needed?

Many of us within the university teaching sector will be feeling the pressure (the scramble!) to get teaching material online in response to coronavirus closures. 

​Whilst it’s unclear whether or not we will all be full virtual next semester, the prospect of partial/complete online provision being required for academic year 2020-21 is a real one. Many institutes seem to be preparing for a number of outcomes making the task of teaching even more difficult within the context of the growing pressures on academic time and resources. 

​There is a clear need for, and great potential in, virtual environments to improve access to learning for educators, students and wider audiences, especially those who may not have capacity to develop online resources from scratch. 

Changing technology and its availability can offer new / different opportunities within the learning environment (and shifting student expectations) and the current situation gives us opportunity to begin to address this. 

ViPs Aims

We hope to create a shared archive of virtual palaeoenvironmental teaching resources to support the teaching of environmental change science. 

The need for these resources has been greatly accelerated in the short-term in response to COVID19 but we hope to incorporate plans for longer-term creation of digital teaching resources leading to improvements in environmental change teaching, accessibility of teaching and outreach.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Overview of ViPs

Short-term Objectives:

  • Create a single, collated source of currently available shared ViPs materials*
  • Gap analysis – what materials are missing or poorly represented?
  • Reduce duplication of effort across the community and maximise student experience in 2020-21
  • Creating small working groups to collate, produce and share different materials THIS SUMMER to address ‘low hanging fruit’ from the gaps list in preparation for academic year 2020-21 being partially or fully online

Longer term objectives:

  • Transfer curation to an established organisation (e.g. the QRA)
  • Creating a community which can seek grant funding and institutional support to produce high quality materials over a longer term and study their use by students and academics.

* Throughout the process we will ensure that intellectual property of creators is recognised and resources made widely and freely available via creative commons and related mechanisms

Launch Workshop

Wednesday 27th May
09:30am -12:00 (UTC+1). 
(via Zoom)

Meeting summary now available


Get Involved

Join our mailing list, register your interest in the workshop or other activities


Jane Bunting ¦ Simon Hutchinson ¦ Des McDougall Nicki Whitehouse ¦ Kim Davies

Please use the contact form to get in touch with us!

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