Jump to content

What turns logging tasks into educative/unique ones


cezanne
Followers 2

Recommended Posts

Originally I wanted to keep away from the EC forum at all. This thread

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=278048

reminded me however again of the fact that I think that parts of the EC guidelines are hard to understand and are somehow subjective.

As the other thread deals with glacial erratics I opened up a new thread to avoid going off-topic.

 

Since geoawares's last posting in the thread above (at the time of opening this thread) deals with the question of logging tasks in a general

way, I take the liberty to copy parts of his post into this thread

 

Believe it or not, EarthCahes ARE about people learning something about Earth science....and not just taking people to a wonderful location. Understanding something about the Earth science behind the wonderful location is the goal.

 

While I welcome this approach, I feel that the decision what is educative is quite subjective. I need to admit that I feel that having to classify three waterfalls or measuring the flow rate several times will still involve me much more into earth science than by writing down the word that can be found in line 3 of an information board which follows word "X". I can solve such tasks even in languages I do not understand at all.

 

Only very recently I came across the EC knowledge book on this site

http://www.earthcache.org/

I think that this knowledge book is hardly known and it would make sense to inform the EC community about its existence.

 

Of course I have had a look at the knowledge book to see what is written about the requirements for logging tasks as well. I'll cite paragraph 2.4 from this source

 

2.4 Logging Requirements

An EarthCache listing must include logging tasks which are related to the Earth science lesson and which can only be answered by visiting the site. The logging task should be strong enough that other proof of visitation should not be required.

 

When setting the logging tasks, keep in mind that the guidelines state that:

"Logging of an EarthCache must involve visitors undertaking some educational task that relates to the Earth science at the site." The purpose of the logging tasks is not just to prove that someone has visited the location, but also to allow them to demonstrate that learning has occurred. Good logging tasks involve the use of open "what/why/how do you think?" type questions.

 

The guidelines also state that logging an EarthCache: "..could involve measuring or estimating the size of some feature or aspect of the site, collecting and recording data". The key phrase is "could involve". Taking measurements or recording data alone is not educational and is not a satisfactory logging task. It is what is done with the data that is educational.

 

For example, asking a visitor to take an elevation reading at the bottom of a ravine, is not educational. However, asking them to take an elevation reading at the top and bottom and then using that data to calculate the depth of the ravine would be educational.

 

Please note that certain questions, such as the elevation reading, can be easily determined from a topo map and therefore could be answered without visiting the site. If that is the case, you will be asked to include a question which could only be answered at the site.

 

Keep in mind that an EarthCache is to assume no prior knowledge of geology.

A question such as "identify the type of rock found here" is not acceptable.

A better question would be "You will find a strip of light coloured, opaque minerals running through the middle of this rock. Measure the width of this quartz vein"

 

Taking a photograph is not valid logging task as it rarely gives a chance to show that learning has occurred.

 

Asking people to do internet research is not normally a valid logging task as it rarely relates to what visitors will experience at the site.

 

I need to admit that this paragraph did not make it clearer for me what is regarded as educational by the EC team.

For me the task to take a reading of the height at the top and the bottom of a ravine and then subtract the two data

does not teach anything earth-science related. Subtracting numbers is taught at primary school. So why does this

additional step of asking for the subtraction turn a task which is referred to as just data collecting (I'm using the formulation

of the knowledge book) into an educational task with regard to earth science?

 

 

Please do not take this question as being critique with respect to the guidelines. I just want to point out that I am failing in

understanding what really qualifies a logging task as educational in the understanding of the GSA. Judging from many debates in this

and other forums, it seems to me that I am not the only one having difficulties in understanding this issue.

 

Somehow I obtain the feeling that among having quite some geological background it is also a helpful requirement for developing an EC of the type the

EC team would like to see is to a teacher of an earth-science related subject. It appears to me that this influences somehow the view what

is regarded as educative, Most people writing in this thread just take their own understanding of educative where they usually take their

own person as example. That's quite natural as there is no common notion for "educative".

 

I need to admit that for me the question about measuring the width of the quartz vein would be lame and would not teach me anything about geology. Having to bring along a book which can be used to identify a rock type would however initiate for me what I regard as learning process.

(Comment: I do not have any prior knowledge in this area - if I had prior knowledge about the rock types, then no learning would be induced on my side anyway.)

 

I try to understand what's behind the GSA's idea of learning, but I fail regardless of from which direction I am trying to look at the matter.

 

And so we will continue to use the guidelines as they are...as it seems many CO have no trouble in developing great EarthCaches following them.

 

I think the main issue is not changing the guidelines, but making your vision more widely known and formulating it in a way that is easier

to understand and which is less subjective. I think that all involved parties can only profit from a better mutual understanding.

 

As the repetition of logging tasks is required, I think it might help to mention in the guidelines/knowledge book that this is not appreciated.

With the current formulation many people might be tempted to take logging tasks of already existing caches as a guideline for their work as they might think that if the logging tasks were fine for published EC A, they should be fine for EC B as well. The intention for having "unique" logging tasks is not really conveyed by the current guidelines and moreover, I guess that it is not that easy again to decide what's unique.

If someone from South-Africa copies from a cache in Germany, probably no one will realize that while the copying will probably be noticed if the original

cache is also located in South-Africa. I do not think however that it is fair to handle these cases differently.

 

Maybe some members of the EC team and/or Earthcachers that think that they have understood what is regarded as educative and what not can jump in with some further explanations. Maybe Neos2 who is an Earthcacher and a teacher can help.

 

just follow the guidelines and make your site a wonderful unique place for people to learn...and it will be published.

 

Really? For example, I noticed that Earthcaches that are not available during 24 hours and/or where entrance fees are required are discouraged.

Earthcaches that lead to show cavew/former mining sites and other locations like that which do not require a visit of the cave/mining site etc

are typically boring as there are typically only boring tasks that can be asked without requiring a visit. These questions at best make sure that

the cachers have really visited the location, but typically they do not teach anything about the site.

 

It appears to me that different aspects of the guidelines are contradictory with regard to their aims. A beautiful dripstone cave is a unique place, but the entrance

area of the cave is typically a boring place and the questions that can be asked there somehow are not well suited to learn about earth sciences.

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
Link to comment

I can see what you are trying to appeal to in regards to the educational quality of the caches, but a few things have to be taken into account. First, your range of education doesn't require absolute ignorance in order for a location that may be familiar to be informative. You may want to reflect on the role of the Difficulty level of an EC to help address the levels of learning. Perhaps you (as a person with a stronger geological background) shouldn't pursue a 1 or 2 star difficulty in ECs, but rather look for a greater difficulty if you must be challenged in an academic way. The LRs will be more challenging and may provide you with what you are looking for.

 

In order to make ECs available to everyone, there must be a range of learning, which will include very simple tasks in order to accomodate even young children and their journey to acquire knowledge. It really points back to the Traditional geocache difficulty, if you don't like the easy ones... don't do them, search based on a higher difficulty of caches and then you will get them.

 

Regarding the method for setting a standard, it is quite clear that the GSA and the EC reviewers want us to work on a principle for the educational content rather than establishing a rigid set of rules for it. This allows them to provide direction and to help fine tune the content and the experience. IMHO it provides us with a far more educated final product, than if we attempted it on our own.

Link to comment

I can see what you are trying to appeal to in regards to the educational quality of the caches, but a few things have to be taken into account.

 

Somehow I get the unpleasant feeling that once again I completely failed in getting across the message that I tried to get across in my posting above.

My questions in this thread did not relate to my personal interest or education level and are completely unrelated to my own preferences for Earthcaches or caches in general.

 

I just tried to understand what is seen as an educative logging task and what not. Please note that I was not asking for more difficult logging tasks. Neither it was my

intention to ask for any change in guidelines and review process.

 

I just do not understand why it is not ok to ask for the classification of a waterfall in several waterfall caches while asking to measure the height readings and

computing the difference is seen as educative. Classifying a waterfall might be trivial for those who are familiar with the subject, but it is earth science related and at least involves the cacher actively. Taking the height readings and computing the difference (the example suggested in the knowledge book as a kind of show case) does not seem to be earth science related at all. So what's the lesson conveyed?

 

Regarding the method for setting a standard, it is quite clear that the GSA and the EC reviewers want us to work on a principle for the educational content rather than establishing a rigid set of rules for it. This allows them to provide direction and to help fine tune the content and the experience. IMHO it provides us with a far more educated final product, than if we attempted it on our own.

 

I do not ask for rigid rules. I need to admit, however, that I am also failing in understanding the principle you mention.

 

In my opinion measuring the flow rate, classifying water falls etc are more educative logging tasks than copying a word from an information board. So if the latter are ok and calculating the height difference is even used as a show case, I fell that the first type of logging tasks should be ok and acceptable as well. If they are not, then it would be fine to explain the difference. I am sorry to admit that I am too stupid to understand where is the borderline between educative and non-educative with respect to Earthcaching.

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
Link to comment

Regarding the method for setting a standard, it is quite clear that the GSA and the EC reviewers want us to work on a principle for the educational content rather than establishing a rigid set of rules for it. This allows them to provide direction and to help fine tune the content and the experience. IMHO it provides us with a far more educated final product, than if we attempted it on our own.

 

Sorry Flintstone, but what you just said is inviting total inconsistency. Just what does, "a principle for the educational content" mean? I often agree with your positions but I think the kind of thing cezanne wants is a more clear definition of just what is an educational task and to what level (grade) is it aimed at!

Cezanne, my apologies, as I know that I cannot speak for you, but as you can tell, I am not against repetition because as an ex educator I know that repetition is often the gateway for learning! Part of our brain acts on memory and repeated tasks lend themselves to being stored in that memory. If is remembered, something was learned!

Thanks.

Link to comment

Sorry Flintstone, but what you just said is inviting total inconsistency. Just what does, "a principle for the educational content" mean? I often agree with your positions but I think the kind of thing cezanne wants is a more clear definition of just what is an educational task and to what level (grade) is it aimed at!

Cezanne, my apologies, as I know that I cannot speak for you, but as you can tell, I am not against repetition because as an ex educator I know that repetition is often the gateway for learning! Part of our brain acts on memory and repeated tasks lend themselves to being stored in that memory. If is remembered, something was learned!

Thanks.

 

I guess you have a point.

 

The way I have been taught and continue to teach is based on the expectation that the student apply themselves to understanding the principles and apply them to the problem. Even in mathematics it helps to understand the working parts and apply them to the individual circumstance. It allows for the student to make greater application of the fundamentals.

 

I am hoping that with an earth science lesson in view, it wouldn't be beneficial to lay down a detailed "framework" but rather allow the CO to add their own individuality to a theme and then help by mentoring from the reviewers. With a goal of the CO learning more with each experience to a point where they are pretty much self sufficient in their application of the guidelines.

 

From my perspective I can now see far more easily just what is required (and I have only done 7 ECs) by the guidelines as I have become more involved and experienced. I am sure with your experience that you can easily crankout a satisfactory EC, but you are probably holding a higher standard than "satisfactory" for yourself, because of your understanding.

 

I just think that as you do more ECs it becomes clear that this method allows us to add more diversity to the program than if things were really spelled out for us.

Link to comment

I have often read that earthcaching tasks should be strong, educational, and unique to the site. In practice I have no idea what this means. If I had more time this morning, I would have done a statistical analysis of the earthcaches I have completed, but it is fair to say that I have spent a lot of time answering questions relating to wildlife or other information from an interpretive sign; identifying the color of buildings or counting objects at a site; or taking a single elevation reading with my gpsr. In many instances, these are the primary tasks at a site, with perhaps some kind of size or weight estimate thrown into the mix (which teaches me very little about earth science). So I agree with Cezenne that the "borderline between educative and non-educative with respect to Earthcaching" is often unclear.

 

To me, developing logging tasks are the most difficult part of creating an earthcache - and I have at least temporarily abandoned some projects as I wonder what I can ask people to do at a particular site that would be a unique "hands on" educational task. They also are the most inconsistent thing about the earthcaches I have found. I do not think that these things are something that can necessarily be clarified in a guideline or knowledge book, because every site is different. But the application of logging requirements leaves me with more questions than answers.

Edited by mulvaney
Link to comment

I am hoping that with an earth science lesson in view, it wouldn't be beneficial to lay down a detailed "framework" but rather allow the CO to add their own individuality to a theme and then help by mentoring from the reviewers.

 

Let me just clarify that I was not looking for a detailed framework. I am a great fan of individualism and I certainly would not ask for a rigid set of rules.

Some of the best caches I have found are quite different than the mainstream caches.

 

I also agree with you that the role of the reviewers is an important one - their guidance is very important and will never become superfluous.

 

I do think, however, that to a certain degree frustrations on both sides (EC developpers and EC reviewers) could be avoided if some aspects of the guidelines/of the material in the knowledge book would be more well known (including translations of the most current version in various other languages) and easier to understand.

 

Even when someone understands the gist of the guidelines, it is still likely that he can profit from the feedback of the review team. If the basics are clear however, the review team might have to explain the same things all over again less frequently (that is not a very rewarding task!) and they could then concentrate a little bit more on the issues that are specific of the cache. I thought that this might be a win-win situation for all people involved and this was the only reason why I decided to open up this thread.

 

Let me again use the example from the knowledge book about the ravine which is seen as educational as soon as the subtraction process is added. I simply do not understand why this example

is apparently seen as a well-suited educative logging task for an EC while classifying a waterfall or measuring a flow rate is seen as something not educative/innovative enough (actually, I have not yet found any EC asking for a flow rate or a waterfall classification at all). Maybe you have an idea as to why asking for the result of the subtraction of two numbers turns a data-collection process into an educational task about Earth science. It can well be that I am overlooking something as my own way of learning and thinking is rather special and thus should not be the base for any type of teaching principle. I can well accept if the EC team decides that certain tasks are educational and fine and others are not. It is up to them. I just try to find something like a common thread. I'd like to be a in a postion tp provide some guidance/educated guess when a fellow cacher is contacting me and telling me about an idea for an EC and would like to know whether I believe that there are any chances at all (not a guarantee) to get this EC published. It's easier to ask someone local such questions as they can be asked without having to prepare a first write-up already. The EC reviewers for my area live many km apart and do not know the area at all. I think this situation also occurs in many other areas.

 

Cezanne

Link to comment

I'd like to be a in a postion tp provide some guidance/educated guess when a fellow cacher is contacting me and telling me about an idea for an EC and would like to know whether I believe that there are any chances at all (not a guarantee) to get this EC published. It's easier to ask someone local such questions as they can be asked without having to prepare a first write-up already.

 

Then you are trying to usurp the role of the reviewers.

 

We don't have a junior review committee at work in each locality. We put in our time and effort and the reviewers can help us reach our goals. One of the other threads was talking about the unfair reviewers and yet they didn't have permission in place. I am afraid that although you are trying to help that local cacher you can't say with any certainty that it can or can't be done. That is a gamble, not an assistance.

 

If we work with the reviewers we can get direct information and experience in the processes that are being used. This system works and is continuing to change as a result of positive experiences. We can't let the needs of the few outweigh that of the many.

Link to comment

I'd like to be a in a postion tp provide some guidance/educated guess when a fellow cacher is contacting me and telling me about an idea for an EC and would like to know whether I believe that there are any chances at all (not a guarantee) to get this EC published. It's easier to ask someone local such questions as they can be asked without having to prepare a first write-up already.

 

Then you are trying to usurp the role of the reviewers.

 

No, definitely not. If someone asks me for example if he could come up with an EC that only asks questions which require internet research, I do not need to be a reviewer to answer the question. We are talking about two different aspects. You assume someone who has an idea and really wants to follow it ambitiously and then profits from the help of reviewers. I am talking of someone asking a question whether he could set up a cache in a specific way without the ambition to invest work for a different outcome. It is a bit comparable to my own situation: Since I know that no EC of mine would be acceptable regardless of its contents if I only provide an English version, I gave up my plans to ever develop one. It's quite simple: A cache developped by me needs to make me reasonably happy. If it does not, I will never get developped. I am not an employee of a cache hiding company, and the same is true for all other cache hiders. It is up to them to decide whether they want to invest a certain type of effort/work.

 

I think that a win win situation for both sides results from a scenario I had in mind. The reviewers will not get submissions in which they invest a lot of effort just to learn that the cache owner does not want to implement their ideas and rather have the cache rejected and the cache owner saves the time to prepare a write up of something which never will get published. The help of the reviewers is certainly very appreciated for those cases where someone is willing to come up with an EC at a certain location and just needs help to arrive at a publishable cache and is willing to take whichever path is suggested by the reviewers. Do you see now the difference between the two scenarios?

 

I am afraid that although you are trying to help that local cacher you can't say with any certainty that it can or can't be done. That is a gamble, not an assistance.

 

I never ever created the impression to any cacher that I would be able or even willing to do so. It is too difficult to explain what I really meant without going off-topic.

 

To get back on topic, when looking up some text from the FAQ for another thread, I came across this statement which left me surprised.

 

What do I need to have people do to log an EarthCache?

 

As EarthCaches are educational, visitors should log some aspect of their visit that shows they have learnt something from their visit, like a direction, size of a feature etc. These answers can be emailed to the developer.

 

Apparently my understanding about learning about earth-science is very different from what appears to behind this statement. Up to now I have not considered finding out the size of a geological feature as an earth-science related learning task. So even more, I'd love to receive replies by people who can contribute. It's not necessary to be an EC reviewer, and also not necessary to come up with a detailed and comprehensive reply. I'd appreciate any contribution that might help me and others who have troubles in understanding what is an educative logging task.

 

The notion "having learnt something" would also include some historical, botanical etc facts. I am not sure if the statement is really intended in the way it is formulated.

 

Moreover, if I am visiting my first waterfall cache which asks for a classification, I will certainly have learnt there something. Still such logging tasks are not seen innovative enough. It seems to me that the various pieces that state something about logging tasks in guidelines/knowledge book/faqs/forums etc are not really consistent.

 

When I was in school and had to hand in some assignment, I also was depending on your feedback and suggestions, but it was clear to me before handing in the assignment what they expected me to do and I tried to do my personal best already in the first round. With the guidelines regarding logging tasks, I am somehow missing this chance to try do my best in the first round and I do not like this feeling.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
Link to comment

When I was in school and had to hand in some assignment, I also was depending on your feedback and suggestions, but it was clear to me before handing in the assignment what they expected me to do and I tried to do my personal best already in the first round. With the guidelines regarding logging tasks, I am somehow missing this chance to try do my best in the first round and I do not like this feeling.

 

I think this is another assumption that you are making. This isn't a test, an EC allows you to teach. The EC reviewers are trying to help you develop a simple curriculum. This isn't a pass/fail situation, it has lots of room to allow for growth. There are as many rounds as necessary to get the job done. In reality, needing to get it right on the first pass is your problem and not a problem with the system.

Link to comment
This isn't a test, an EC allows you to teach. The EC reviewers are trying to help you develop a simple curriculum. This isn't a pass/fail situation, it has lots of room to allow for growth. There are as many rounds as necessary to get the job done. In reality, needing to get it right on the first pass is your problem and not a problem with the system.

 

Of course it is not a test, and yes, it can take many rounds. I would not mind needing even ten rounds if I had the feeling to have done my best at every round. It is part of my personality that I cannot start with a first round if I am not sure to have the basis for giving my best. My best can be far from optimal and even far from good sometimes. Put in this terminology: I feel that a full understanding of all guidelines and all accompanying material forms the basis for being able to do one's best for people who are like myself.

 

I never ever said that the system has a problem. If you prefer it that way call it "my problem" though I rather think of it as "my questions". Still I would like to understand all what is said in the guidelines and accompanying texts. Everyone is free to decide whether he wants to understand everything or whether he feels comfortable starting off without a full understanding (in my terminology).

 

If it works fine for you and others to have no clear understanding what are strong educative logging tasks and you just start off with your work, that's fine for you. I also know people who never ever read any manual and just start off and perform well. People are different - that's nothing new.

 

Actually, I am not sure what you are aiming at in this discussion. You will not succeed in convincing me that is is of no importance for me to understand what is meant with educative in the sense of Earthcaching tasks. I never tried to convince you that this question should be interesting for you or anyone else. I just asked for explanations. I thought to have asked a legitimate question in a newly opened thread.

If no one is able or willing to provide attempts for explanations, I'll respect that.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
Link to comment

I don't think it's possible to develop objective criteria for what "makes" a logging task educational. There is certainly a subjective "feeling," though. Isn't there?

 

Borrowing from a recent favorite in these forums, Glacial Erratics:

1. Report the date carved in the side of the erratic.

2. Measure the height/width/depth of the erractic, calculate its volume, and then estimate its weight.

3. Study the surface of the erratic and report on whether it has striations (grooves). Are the striations the result of the erratic having been plucked from the bedrock by the glacier or was the erratic conveyed on the surface of the glacier.

4. Compare the appearance of the erratic with the appearance of the surrounding bedrock. What are the similarities and differences? What evidence is presented that the rock came from somewhere else?

5. Observe the bedrock (if exposed) for evidence of glacial action and determine the direction of glacial movement at this location.

6. Observe the plantlife in the immediate area. Assuming that species A of tree will begin growing about forty years after the glacier recedes (assuming proper soil conditions) and then adds 2 mm in trunk diameter per year, how many years ago was the glacier at this location?

 

Another topic, a Copper Mine:

1. What is the title on interpretive panel #5?

2. How many people lived in the nearby ghost town?

3. During which years did the mine operate?

4. Who discovered the ore deposit?

5. How many tonnes of copper was processed here?

6. Name the process used to extract the copper from the ore.

7. Observe the rocks in the area. What color are they and describe any crystals you might see. Using information found on the interpretive panels, what kind of ore is it and why is it blue (or green or black)?

 

Earthquake Fault:

1. What year did the last "big" earthquake occur here?

2. How far did the fault slip?

3. Describe the scarp (height, weathering, etc.) that you see here.

4. Assuming the fault slipped the same distance here as at a much wetter location 20km to the west, why can you see the scarp here, but not there?

5. Assuming that the the return interval of large earthquakes along this fault is 700 years (+/- 100 years) and that the fault has moved 50 meters since the last glacier retreat 14,000 years ago, what is the average movement of the fault per major event?

6. There is evidence that the last large earthquake on this fault was 650 years ago. Would you build a new home nearby? Why/why not?

 

A Ravine:

1. Who was the first person to successfully run a boat down the ravine and in what year?

2. What is the water flow rate through the ravine?

3. Determine the depth of the ravine using your GPS by walking along Trail X.

4. Observe the rock layers as you descend into the ravine. What is the thickness of each layer? (Assume the cache developer provided a description of the local geology on the cache page). Which layer is the oldest? Which is the youngest? How do you know?

5. Assuming the river began carving this ravine 7 million years ago, what is the average rate of erosion? Do you think erosion is still occuring? Why do you think so?

 

Which logging tasks in the above list are Earth Science/geological educational/unique logging tasks and what are not?

Edited by Ladybug Kids
Link to comment

Is it possible some of the confusion comes from separating the logging activities from learning activities?

 

EarthCaches are all supposed to have a "learning" activity; they may also include logging activities.

 

Example of logging activity: give information from some signage at the location (a date, a number, a word, a name, etc) or measure some part of the feature, etc. The logging activity might help prove they were actually there by providing information specific to that site and that site only. More often, the logging activity is a step that helps the visitor get information they need to finish the learning lesson.

 

A learning activity, on the other hand, tries to teach a geology related lesson. The lesson might focus on how that particular feature managed to form in that spot, or how to differentiate that type of feature from similar types of the same thing, or how to appreciate how that kind of feature behaves, etc. You might think of the learning activity as the steps the visitor takes to reach a conclusion.

Examples:

tell the direction the glacier traveled by looking at the direction of the striations

explain why two side by side waterfalls are different heights and widths after examining the rock they formed in

explain how you know the rocks in the stream bed did not break off the nearby rock (after seeing they are erratic)

explain how you know those fossils formed when a giant landslide occurred in a shallow ocean area by looking at the fossils formed in shale from plants that only grow in shallow oceans

 

In general, you have to take some knowledge or measurement or information (either given by the write up or gathered for yourself on site) and apply it somehow to solve a question.

 

For me, teaching someone new information begins with stunningly simple question: What do I want my visitor to learn?

Once I know what I want them to learn, I'm ready to figure out how to get them to learn it--and hopefully enjoy the process at least a little bit!

Link to comment

EarthCaches are all supposed to have a "learning" activity; they may also include logging activities.

Nice explanation of the nuance, Neos2. Many EarthCache submittals I see have only logging activities. When I see this, I propose some learning activities to the cache developer to expand the visitor's activities into interacting with the locale and entering the learning mode.

 

For me, teaching someone new information begins with stunningly simple question: What do I want my visitor to learn?

Once I know what I want them to learn, I'm ready to figure out how to get them to learn it--and hopefully enjoy the process at least a little bit!

Yes! When I review an EarthCache, I'll read the text and look at the logging tasks and ask myself what the cache developer is trying to teach/show me. If it's to prove I can read a few words on an interpretive sign, I'll encourage the cache developer to stretch further in to the learning realm.
Link to comment

Many EarthCache submittals I see have only logging activities. When I see this, I propose some learning activities to the cache developer to expand the visitor's activities into interacting with the locale and entering the learning mode.

 

If it's to prove I can read a few words on an interpretive sign, I'll encourage the cache developer to stretch further in to the learning realm.

How does this translate in the reviewing process? Do you merely ask the CO to add something or are you actively enforcing this (by denying publication) when the developer doesn't change/add to his EC?

 

Mr. Terratin

Link to comment

Many EarthCache submittals I see have only logging activities. When I see this, I propose some learning activities to the cache developer to expand the visitor's activities into interacting with the locale and entering the learning mode.

 

If it's to prove I can read a few words on an interpretive sign, I'll encourage the cache developer to stretch further in to the learning realm.

How does this translate in the reviewing process? Do you merely ask the CO to add something or are you actively enforcing this (by denying publication) when the developer doesn't change/add to his EC?

 

Mr. Terratin

The reviewers write Reviewer Notes to the cache developer's EarthCache page explaining changes that must be made to the page before it can be published. These notes usually reference the specific EarthCache guideline that is not being met (in the context of this thread, usually one or more of Guidelines 1, 2, 3, and 6).

 

Because I am interested in publishing EarthCaches, I will oftentimes go another step and offer suggestions for logging/learning tasks that are intented to provide ideas to the cache developer to bring his/her cache page to a point where it can be published. The source(s) of these suggestions come from my learnings from other EarthCache pages I've reviewed, personal knowledge, and/or independent research I do because my own interest in the location/feature has been piqued. EarthCache reviewers will also consult with their peers for ideas on how to help the EarthCache developer move toward a publishable EarthCache.

 

Compliance with the guidelines is enforced by not publishing the EarthCache until its content complies with the guidelines.

Edited by GeoawareUSA4
Link to comment

Compliance with the guidelines is enforced by not publishing the EarthCache until its content complies with the guidelines.

 

I echo this point. Just like regular reviewing when you deal with proximity, commercial, or permission, a cache is not listed until it meets the guidelines.

 

If it does meet the guidelines, and I don't like it, it is still listed.

 

Have changes taken place? Yes, with 10ish Earthcaches reviewers we can review them, and help people develop them, That is easier now than a few years ago when Geoaware did all the Earthcaches.

Link to comment

Is it possible some of the confusion comes from separating the logging activities from learning activities?

 

First, thanks for your reply. I appreciate your input.

 

To answer your question, I guess you are at least partly right.

 

Example of logging activity: give information from some signage at the location (a date, a number, a word, a name, etc) or measure some part of the feature, etc. The logging activity might help prove they were actually there by providing information specific to that site and that site only. More often, the logging activity is a step that helps the visitor get information they need to finish the learning lesson.

 

What you write sounds very plausible to me and makes perfect sense to me. However, in the ECs I have encountered so far where one had to measure some part or provide a word from a sign this process was in almost all cases not integrated into a learning lesson which was apparent to me (this does not mean that no lesson could be learnt, just that I could not get hold of one).

 

Moreover, the example with measuring some part of a feature is one of the key examples for an educative task in documents of the EC team. This made me guess that for the EC team measuring or estimating the size of a feature is seen as an earth-science learning task and this is something I cannot understand. (Again, this does not mean that such tasks are not earth science learning tasks, just that I have difficulties in understanding.

 

So, maybe a member of the EC team can jump in and try to explain the role of measuring with respect to learning tasks.

 

In general, you have to take some knowledge or measurement or information (either given by the write up or gathered for yourself on site) and apply it somehow to solve a question.

 

Again this sounds very plausible. Actually, I need to admit however that I have not yet visited a single EC where I had to apply anything to solve a question. This remains true if they include the ECs in my area (and the part of Germany that I visit frequently) I know, but have not visited. Note that I am not saying that I did not learn anything from this ECs. That would be wrong. I learnt something interesting at some of them, but typically I was not guided by the cache description/the logging tasks.

 

I have looked at your ECs some months ago and was impressed (no flattering). When reading through your explanations and logging tasks, I immediately got the impression that teaching the visitor something has been in your mind right from the beginning.

 

 

For me, teaching someone new information begins with stunningly simple question: What do I want my visitor to learn?

 

Thanks for that important reminder. You made a good point. I guess this question would deserve to be included into the instructions for EC developpers.

 

When doing my virtual cache many years ago (not earth-science related), I started off with this question and

it took me a while to answer it. I guess that most ECs that I like as Earth caches (not just the location) have been set up in this way.

Unfortunately, such ECs are not too common in the areas I typically go for caching. There the philosophy of showing a location dominates the wish to teach.

 

 

Cezanne

Link to comment

Compliance with the guidelines is enforced by not publishing the EarthCache until its content complies with the guidelines.

 

I echo this point. Just like regular reviewing when you deal with proximity, commercial, or permission, a cache is not listed until it meets the guidelines.

 

Maybe it would be better to write "a cache is not listed until the reviewer believes that it meets the guidelines". Both for physical and for Ec there are way too many aspects that a reviewer cannot check, at least not within reasonable amount of time. Take e.g. the EC guideline that the answers to the questions should not be obtainable from the internet.

It seems pretty unrealistic to me to expect that a reviewer will have 20-30 minutes time per cache just to check whether the answers can be found online (note this time adds up with the time spent per submission, it is not the total time spent on the cache).

 

Cezanne

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 2
×
×
  • Create New...