Pre-Pandemic (2019) Build of Mineral Identification Website

  • during a "normal" semester many students miss one or more labs

  • at UAB, no "lab" to come back to for study and review

  • Brande creates and builds public website with resources for introductory mineral identification lab

  • Kevin Hurler, former Univ. South Carolina grad student, suggests "OMG" as the subdomain for my "Online Mineral Guide" - thanks Kevin

  • is "discovered" on the web as soon as campuses close down 2020

No Students in Lab

After campus closure March 2020, students learning at home.

A Different World

Massive disruption to life.

Can't Teach Rocks Face-to-Face

How could students learn to identify rocks and minerals without on-campus lab with physical samples of rocks and minerals? How could students prepare for quiz on identification?

Create Images & Videos in Home Studio

A good-enough start with cellphone camera. Software good-enough for video production. Small LED panel lights, chemistry lab ringstand, black velour, workbench for table, tripod and weights to stabilize cellphone.

Create Video Demos

My cellphone macro lens is pretty good for close-up shots and short videos. Demonstrations of all manipulations of sample a student might perform in lab. Links to videos below.

Create Website w/All Digital Assets

Building a website with Google Sites is pretty easy. Pre-built template is designed for drag-and-drop of image files, web links, text blocks. No coding required. The hard part is assembling all digital assets and organization of information to meet objectives.

Created Pre-COVID for Students Who Miss Lab

Mineral identification website actually built prior to pandemic for students who miss lab.

Website Ready-to-Go For Remote Lab Teaching

Online media organized for easy access and correspondence to lab activity in identifying a mineral by testing its properties.

Teach Lab Remotely - All Assets Online

Online document contains links to all needed materials stored online for viewing and study. Links to unknowns and reference (knowns) require student observation and response. Fill-in boxes are placeholders for student responses.

Community Shares Resources

Instructors create mineral identification activities adapted for their own students learning remotely with online mineral identification website resources. Documents have embedded links to specific image, video, or text section for student study. Colleagues shared online activities for download and adaptation by others.

Google Analytics Reveals Pandemic Uses

Google Analytics collect data that is anonymizes specific user. Data is aggregated into categories of use. Patterns of use reveal user demand across time and by access.

Pandemic Access by Device Type

Information Dashboard retrieves cumulative data to present. Dashboard calendar begins January 1, 2020. Remote access is dominated by laptops/desktops.

Pandemic Access by OS

Windows and Apple dominate Operating Systems. Diversity of others seemed surprising to me.

Pandemic Access by Browser

Interesting that many Apple users must be using Chrome for browser. Also interesting is the large diversity of other browsers, pointing to hardware diversity. This would be a challenge for information delivery if it weren't for Google servers to be "responsive" - automatic re-formatting of web page for client device.

Pandemic Access by U.S. Metro Area

Detailed geographic demand for online resources concentrated by population.

Pandemic Access by State

Mineral identification website accessed from all 50 states. Dominated by California, Texas and New York. Only 5 states with fewer than 100 accesses (Jan. 2020 to June 2022) [MS, ND, AK, HI, VT].

Pandemic Access by Country

Demand for mineral identification resources for teaching introductory lab extends internationally. Website must have been discovered by web searches and Google algorithms returning suggested web pages based on rising connections.

Pandemic & Post-Pandemic Access on Academic Calendar

Repetitive cycles of demand access correspond to academic semesters. Highest hits occurred Sept. 8, 2020 when 977 users accessed the website. Most surprising is the spring 2022 demand access not so much less than previous semesters during most campus closures. I would have thought that with the return to campus, instructors would abandon these online resources.
Analytics Dashboard - Live

Dashboard is real-time and live at the click of the link.

Post-Pandemic Return to Campus

I'm continuing to use online resources even after students have returned to campus. Students who miss lab still need online resources to make up the missed work.

Pandemic Resources Critical in Post-Pandemic Education

We're not back to normal (and might not ever be going forward). Online resources created for pandemic remote learning will (and should) integrate into teaching and learning environments post-pandemic.

Teaching Geo Labs Online - Public Resources

All my resources are online and publicly accessible.

Mineral Identification

The Online Mineral Guide (OMG - as suggested by Kevin Hurler) is open.

Companion websites are available with resources for labs on the study and identification of the common igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rock types. Not as well developed as my mineral identification website.