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Johnny And Jewels

EarthCaches...

70 posts in this topic

3 minutes ago, igator210 said:

Ha. That sums up some of my coworkers.

 

As an owner if an Earthcache. I view it is a best attempt to complete the objectives. I've received some wrong answers, but I can tell the attempt was there.

Which isn't the same as meeting the intended objective.

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46 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

Which isn't the same as meeting the intended objective.

No, it isn't. 

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34 minutes ago, SeattleWayne said:

No, it isn't. 

What a pointless excercise.

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2 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

What a pointless excercise.

Right? 

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The object of an earthcache is ostensibly to take someone to a location and teach them an earth science lesson.  The questions should be designed so that, after reading the cache description, a cacher can apply that instruction by interpreting what they see, or even taste (a couple of mine give this as an option).

 

While I have a preferred answer in mind when I design an earthcache, it's not always the answer I get from folks who log the cache.  As log as there is an effort made, the find stands, and I get back to them with what I meant for them to learn.  (Well, I get back to pretty much everyone who logs a find on our earthcaches to either confirm their answers or follow up with what I was looking for.  The only people I don't follow up with are those who emailed me without using a return address, as I assume that meant they didn't want a reply.)

 

If all I get is "I was there so I logged the find," that's why Moun10Bike and his team made the delete option.  But I still give them a chance to try to send in answers first.

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3 minutes ago, hzoi said:

The object of an earthcache is ostensibly to take someone to a location and teach them an earth science lesson.  The questions should be designed so that, after reading the cache description, a cacher can apply that instruction by interpreting what they see, or even taste (a couple of mine give this as an option).

 

While I have a preferred answer in mind when I design an earthcache, it's not always the answer I get from folks who log the cache.  As log as there is an effort made, the find stands, and I get back to them with what I meant for them to learn.  (Well, I get back to pretty much everyone who logs a find on our earthcaches to either confirm their answers or follow up with what I was looking for.  The only people I don't follow up with are those who emailed me without using a return address, as I assume that meant they didn't want a reply.)

 

If all I get is "I was there so I logged the find," that's why Moun10Bike and his team made the delete option.  But I still give them a chance to try to send in answers first.

This largely fits with my experience.

The reviewer note that I'm required to submit prior to publication with the 'correct answers' to my EarthCache I entitle Expected form of logging task responses in full recognition of the fact the chances of a seeker using the precise words I've used myself is virtually zero.

If I think the seeker has missed out on any of the intended learning opportunities I will tend to nudge them in the direction of the relevant information on the cache page and / or ask them additional related questions so that they can complete the learning process. To me, simply handing over the correct answers just because they tried is a waste of everyone's time.

I would say that this extract from the Help Center demonstrates clearly that the intent is for learning to take place rather than guessing incorrectly and having the answers handed to you with no actual confirmation that you learned anything:

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Unacceptable logging tasks

Asking geocachers to quote information from a sign at the site without demonstrating that they have learned the earth science lesson.

Asking geocachers to take measurements that do not relate to the earth science lesson and only prove that they visited the site. For example, “Measure the height of the boulder.”

Asking geocachers to provide a photo to prove that they visited the site. For example, “Take and send me a photo of the quartz vein.”

 

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I believe the guidelines are tailored as best they can be in order to balance the intent behind earthcaches with keeping people actually interested in creating and hiding them.  I submit that, if earthcache owners were required to respond to every finder to follow up on the lesson, there would be far fewer earthcaches out there. 

 

Personally, I don't think that would be a bad thing.  It's not hard to tell those who wrote up earthcaches as intended versus those who just want a virtual that isn't grandfathered.  But there has to be a balance, because they shouldn't be onerous "homework caches," as JGrouchy would say.

 

Hopefully mine fall in the middle of the spectrum from poorly disguised virtual caches to Ph.D. thesis generators.  But since I'm only getting feedback from those who survived to the end of the cache description and then sent answers in, and not from those who read the first bits and then said "Nope, let's go find another cache instead," my samples are skewed.

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7 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

Out of idle curiosity...

If the objective is for learning to take place, how does simply handing over the correct answer act as confirmation that the objective has been achieved?

It doesn't.   There is no way to confirm that learning has taken place without requiring the student to sit an exam of some sort at some point after the attempt to learn has taken place.

However, in the context of an earthcache,  when the "student" has submitted answers and the CO has corrected them, then teaching has taken place and it can be reasonable assumed that some amount of learning has happened.

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9 hours ago, Gill & Tony said:

It doesn't.   There is no way to confirm that learning has taken place without requiring the student to sit an exam of some sort at some point after the attempt to learn has taken place.

However, in the context of an earthcache,  when the "student" has submitted answers and the CO has corrected them, then teaching has taken place and it can be reasonable assumed that some amount of learning has happened.

So by extension I could give an examination to a complete stranger in a subject they've zero previous knowledge in, follow up by sending them the correct answers and then congratulate myself on the quality of my teaching?

Sorry but that's not what I would describe as a winning strategy and certainly no measure of how much learning has taken place.

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2 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

So by extension I could give an examination to a complete stranger in a subject they've zero previous knowledge in, follow up by sending them the correct answers and then congratulate myself on the quality of my teaching?

Sorry but that's not what I would describe as a winning strategy and certainly no measure of how much learning has taken place.

I agree, that wouldn't be a winning strategy, which is why it isn't anything like the process I described earlier.

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2 minutes ago, Gill & Tony said:

I agree, that wouldn't be a winning strategy, which is why it isn't anything like the process I described earlier.

Really?

How does it differ?

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2 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

Really?

How does it differ?

Firstly, you are making an incorrect assumption that learning has to take place.  The earthcache guidelines state that the earthcache has to provide an earth science lesson.  Nowhere do they state that the lesson has to be learnt.

I described a process whereby someone has made a reasonable attempt to answer the questions, but has not answered them correctly.  

You described a process where no reasonable attempt is required.

That is the difference

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1 minute ago, Gill & Tony said:

Firstly, you are making an incorrect assumption that learning has to take place.  The earthcache guidelines state that the earthcache has to provide an earth science lesson.  Nowhere do they state that the lesson has to be learnt.

I described a process whereby someone has made a reasonable attempt to answer the questions, but has not answered them correctly.  

You described a process where no reasonable attempt is required.

That is the difference

Unacceptable logging tasks

Asking geocachers to quote information from a sign at the site without demonstrating that they have learned the earth science lesson.

Very strongly suggests to me that demonstration of learning is absolutely an objective of an EarthCache so I reckon it's a fair assumption - YMMV.

The ECO provides the lesson, the person wishing to log the EC qualifies by demonstrating learning.

Whether or not a reasonable attempt has been made is irrelevant to the point.

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If I get answers which are not correct or only partially correct I won't deny the find if there has been a genuine attempt to understand.  I will reply with the correct answer, so the object has been achieved

Getting answers which are not correct is the process you described which can be achieved without a reasonable attempt.

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2 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

 

Whether or not a reasonable attempt has been made is irrelevant to the point.

Getting answers which are not correct is the process you described which can be achieved without a reasonable attempt.

Certainly, getting wrong answers can be done without making a reasonable attempt.  However, that is irrelevant because I stated that a reasonable attempt was required.

If I asked someone to describe the quartz inclusions and compare them with the underlying sandstone matrix and their answer was "banana", I would not send them the correct answer because there is no evidence of a reasonable attempt being made.

Your example of an examination of a random stranger makes no such distinction and that is why your process differs from mine.

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5 minutes ago, Gill & Tony said:

Certainly, getting wrong answers can be done without making a reasonable attempt.  However, that is irrelevant because I stated that a reasonable attempt was required.

If I asked someone to describe the quartz inclusions and compare them with the underlying sandstone matrix and their answer was "banana", I would not send them the correct answer because there is no evidence of a reasonable attempt being made.

Your example of an examination of a random stranger makes no such distinction and that is why your process differs from mine.

But originally you said this:

Quote

However, in the context of an earthcache,  when the "student" has submitted answers and the CO has corrected them, then teaching has taken place and it can be reasonable assumed that some amount of learning has happened.

Did I miss the reference to a reasonable attempt having been made?

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1 minute ago, Team Microdot said:

But originally you said this:

Did I miss the reference to a reasonable attempt having been made?

No, that is not what i originally said.  Go back and read my first post in this thread, the one which you quoted three or four posts ago.

I am signing off from this conversation, I do not appreciate sarcasm.  If you cannot make your point without quoting me out of context and resorting to sarcasm, then I'm off.

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Just now, Gill & Tony said:

No, that is not what i originally said.  Go back and read my first post in this thread, the one which you quoted three or four posts ago.

I am signing off from this conversation, I do not appreciate sarcasm.  If you cannot make your point without quoting me out of context and resorting to sarcasm, then I'm off.

No sarcasm intended.

I'm only quoting what you've posted.

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Quartz crystal matrix... banana... :lol:

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On 7/27/2017 at 11:08 AM, Team Microdot said:
On 7/27/2017 at 11:06 AM, SeattleWayne said:

"If I get answers which are not correct or only partially correct I won't deny the find if there has been a genuine attempt to understand."

An attempt to understand isn't the same thing as proof that learning has taken place.

How does one measure learning?  If the answers that the "finder" provider do not demonstrate that any learning has taken place then the CO might choose to delete the log.  Fortunately, most earth cache owners want found it logs on their cache so they're pretty flexible.  I may not know everything there is to know about glacial erratics but after visiting a couple of glacial erratic earthcaches I've learned more than I knew before.  Constructing the questions such that the answers can only be obtained by visiting the location is the key.  

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1 minute ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

How does one measure learning?  If the answers that the "finder" provider do not demonstrate that any learning has taken place then the CO might choose to delete the log.  Fortunately, most earth cache owners want found it logs on their cache so they're pretty flexible.  I may not know everything there is to know about glacial erratics but after visiting a couple of glacial erratic earthcaches I've learned more than I knew before.  Constructing the questions such that the answers can only be obtained by visiting the location is the key.  

 

Can't see the point of a found it log on an EC if the learning hasn't happened.

I believe that Earthcache reviewers class site-based tasks as an essential requirement but, in fairness, that's never going to be the only way the answers can be obtained. As with puzzle caches, some people, those who seem to value the smiley above all else, will simply harvest information from previous finders, wasting everyone's time in the process.

As far as measuring learning goes I tend to leave a 'knowledge gap' between the written Earth Science Lesson and the facts as they stand at the location, the intention being that the finder has to apply the teachings on the ESL to their site-based observations in order to arrive at the correct conclusions, a sort of earth science algebra if you will.

The final piece of the jigsaw is to try very hard as the CO to ensure that the size of the knowledge gap is just the right size to strike a balance between effort and enjoyment together with a fair chance of success for those who invest a reasonable effort.

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