This  Geoscience e-Laboratory (Ge-LAB) project seeks to roll-out virtual microscopy nationally, and develop open-access teaching and learning resources in the form of interactive exercises and assessment rubrics for the virtual microscope.

E-tutorials and E-assessments

The collaborative design and development of dedicated digital teaching and learning activities and resources to optimise the use of the VMfES as a teaching and learning tool is a major component of this project. The successful intergration of the VMfES resources collated in this project into TEL modules is dependant upon the provision and distribution of appropriate e-tutorials and e-assessments.

Work has been completed in identifying and documenting  the main teaching and learning programmes relating to optical microscopy at each of the  participating units. This graphic exhibits the petrology modules in undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses.

Work is ongoing to arrive at a consensus among geoscience teachers to develop real and usable teaching and learning  resources that are based upon solid methodologies and strategies. The new resources will subsequently be assessed using on-going student and tutor feedback from each of the participating units. Analysis from this feedback will help fine-tune/improve the first iteration of the teaching resources.

Existing Petrology and Optical Microscopy Programmes

Teaching and learning priorities for staff and students including suitable modules (Table 2) for each unit will be identified. Material used in these modules has been selected for digitisation from each unit’s teaching collection.

UCD slides

A selection of Thin Sections (Courtesy of School of Earth Sciences,  UCD)


Developing Digital Teaching & Learning Resources for the Virtual Microscope