Fieldwork represents a highlight for most students in geosciences but is associated with challenges related to diversity. Due to long periods of absence, high costs, remote destinations, and physical and mental stresses, not all students can equally benefit from the offer, for example, people with care obligations, challenges due to sociocultural status, insufficient financial resources, or illnesses. Some outcrops are generally inaccessible.
The Engineering Geology and Rock Mass Mechanics Group at Ruhr-University Bochum realizes projects towards a more diversity-friendly education in geosciences.
Within Digifit, the geological mapping course in the Bachelor’s curriculum was digitized. With 360° tours and 3D models of outcrops and rock samples, the course can be offered digitally and provides high-quality teaching material for the preparation and postprocessing of fieldwork.
DRAGON Ruhr.nrw develops digital teaching material for geosciences and civil engineering. By content relating to climate change and geohazards, such as 3D models of outcrops in the Ahr valley, students are faced with the significance of their future roles.
As part of research-based learning projects, students are currently working on a comparison between manual mapping of discontinuity orientations and the derivation of orientations from digital models.
We highlight limitations of digital fieldwork and ways to counteract them. The resulting educational material offers a diversity-open access to fieldwork. The media competence of the graduates is strengthened and the attractiveness of geosciences is increased. In addition, digital teaching content offers great potential for interdisciplinary collaborations and can be used by third parties, for example in the context of ESD.