Virtual Field Trips

TEC 940 - Virtual Field Trips: Taking and Making

Fresno Pacific University Center for Professional Development

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Course Description

Primary Learning Outcomes

National Content Standards

National Standards for the Teaching Profession

Course Requirements


Minimum Computer Capabilities


Course Requirement Checklist


Course Description

Field trips are a wonderful way to see and learn about the world around us. Field trips enhance learning by motivating and engaging students in a way that makes the subject matter come alive. However, field trips can be difficult to organize, can be expensive, usually involve travel, and are often impractical. With the advent of the World Wide Web, virtual field trips have become possible. With just a computer with an Internet connection, teachers and students can travel together around the world seeing and learning many new things, and interacting with the people and objects in the places they visit.

Using a project based approach, students will learn about the taking and making of virtual field trips using the Internet World Wide Web. Each project is directly tied to specific ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) National Educational Technology Standards. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) propositions and standards are also addressed. The course will provide participants with a survey of what types of virtual field trips are possible. Then, using computer and Internet technology, students will develop meaningful lessons centered around virtual field trips that also meet subject matter standards and framework requirements. Finally, participants will create their own unique virtual field trip with accompanying lesson plans for its use.


Primary Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this course students will be able to:

1.    List the various types of virtual field trips available on the Internet. (I)

2.    Create a resource of potential field trips. (I, II)

3.    Discuss the classroom use of virtual field trips. (II, III, V)

4.    Describe the components of a virtual field trip. (II, III)

5.    Develop flow charts for virtual field trip Web sites. (I, II)

6.    Create lesson plans centered around a virtual field trip that meets specific subject matter standards and/or frameworks. (II, III, IV, V)

7.    Develop a virtual field trip with lessons plans and have it posted on the Internet (or a CD-ROM or computer disk). (I, II, III, IV, V)

8.    Guide students in the creation of virtual field trip projects. (II, III)

9.    Identify, evaluate and use resources for further study in the area of virtual field trips. (II, IV, V, VI)

10. Use the Internet in ways that make teaching and learning more efficient, exciting, and educational. (II, III)

11. Identify, select, and use hardware and software technology resources specially designed for use by K-12 students to meet specific teaching and learning objectives. (I, II)

12. Plan and teach student-centered learning activities and lessons in which students apply technology tools and resources. (II, III)

13. Guide collaborative learning activities in which students use technology resources to solve problems in the subject area(s). (III)

14. Facilitate students' use of technology that addresses their social needs and cultural identity and promotes their interaction with the global community. (III, VI)



National Content Standards

The projects contained in this course for teachers are closely aligned to the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (NETS). Numbers in parentheses following each learning outcome above refer to the National Educational Technology Standards category to which the outcome is linked. The categories are:

I. Technology operations and concepts.

II. Planning and designing learning environments and experiences.

III. Teaching, learning, and the curriculum.

IV. Assessment and evaluation.

V. Productivity and professional practice.

VI. Social, ethical, legal, and human issues.


Several of the course projects ask participants to identify specific national, state or district standards for their curriculum that will be applied to the lessons presented.


National Standards for the Teaching Profession

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) has established high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. These standards represent a professional consensus on the aspects of practice that distinguish accomplished teachers. Cast in terms of actions that teachers take to advance student achievement, these standards also incorporate the essential knowledge, skills, dispositions and commitments that allow teachers to practice at a high level. These standards are grounded philosophically in five core propositions.

The Virtual Field Trips course contributes to each of the core propositions and addresses many of the NBPTS Standards as follows:

NBPTS Core Propositions

1. Teachers are committed to students and their learning.

Field trips motivate students to participate in the learning experience. Field trips provide unique opportunities to develop respect for individual, cultural, religious and racial differences.

2. Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to each those subjects to students.

Field trips add to the instructional repertoire allowing teachers to create multiple paths to learning the subjects they teach.

3. Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.

Field trips allow teachers to create, maintain and alter instructional settings to capture and sustain the interest of their students, while making effective use of instructional time.

4. Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.

Field trips create settings that enable teachers to demonstrate capacities that are prerequisites for intellectual growth – the ability to reason, take multiple perspectives, be creative and take risks, and experiment and solve problems.

5. Teachers are members of learning communities.

Field trips assist teachers in finding ways to work collaboratively and creatively with world, national and local community members, as well as parents, engaging them productively in the scope of a field trip.

NBPTS Professional Teaching Standards

The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) has identified certain commonalities that characterize the accomplished practice of teachers. These professional characteristics of accomplished teachers are reflected in the NBPTS Standards. The Virtual Field Trips course addresses many of these standards as follows:

l Knowledge of students – Virtual Field Trips students will create field trips that demonstrate their knowledge of students’ abilities, interests, aspirations and values.

l Knowledge of content and curriculum – Virtual Field Trips students will draw on their knowledge of subject matter and curriculum development in deciding what is important and appropriate to learn in fashioning their virtual field trips and lesson assignments.

l Learning environment – Virtual Field Trips students will create field trips that establish a caring, inclusive, stimulating and safe educational experience.

l Respect for diversity – Virtual Field Trips students will create a field trip that fosters respect and appreciation for individual differences.

l Instructional resources – Virtual Field Trips students will create and assess a rich and varied collection of virtual field trip resources.

l Meaningful applications of knowledge – Virtual Field Trips students will produce a virtual field trip and lesson plan that helps their students understand how the subjects they study can be used to explore important issues in their lives and the world around them.

l Family involvement – Virtual Field Trips students will make it possible for parents to participate in their virtual field trip creations.

l Contributions to the profession – Virtual Field Trips students will make it possible for other educators to access their virtual field trip creation for feedback and/or classroom use.


Course Requirements:

To receive credit for this course, eight projects must be completed as follows:

Background Projects: (total of 4)

1. Virtual Field Trip Pedagogical Value Paper. (10 points)

2. Virtual Field Trip Reviews. (10 points)

3. Research and develop an annotated list of helpful resources. (10 points)

4. Flow chart for an existing (on the Internet) virtual field trip. (10 points)

Creative Projects: (total of 4)

5. Create a lesson plan for an existing virtual field trip that addresses specific  curriculum standards. (10 points)

6. Create a simple flow chart diagram for a potential virtual field trip visit to a familiar  place. (10 points)

7. Create a flow chart for the final project: the virtual field trip you will create. (10  points)

8. Final Project: Create a virtual field trip with a lesson plan that addresses specific  curriculum standards. (30 points)

Optional Substitute Project:

(May be substituted for one of the other eight with approval of instructor)

9. Virtual field trip related project of your own design. (10 or 30 points)



The final grade is based on points accumulated from the eight course projects as follows:

90-100 points (90-100%) = letter grade A

80-89 points (80-89%) = letter grade B

To earn a grade of “Credit” a minimum of 80 points (80%) must be earned. Course work falling short of 80 total points will not receive credit.

The determination of project points is at the discretion of the instructor and is based on the quality of each project submitted as related to the course rubrics.

The course projects are to be submitted either through the U.S. Mail, or by e-mail. Keep a copy of your mailed coursework in the event something gets lost in the mail. If you would like your mailed assignments returned, include a stamped, self-addressed envelope for this purpose.

Click here to download the TEC940 Grading Rubric.


Required Computer Capabilities


Minimum Computer Capabilities Necessary for Course:


1. Use of and familiarity with a computer that has Internet access.

2. Ability to “surf” the World Wide Web.

3. Ability to navigate to a specific Internet Web site.

4. Access to and ability to send and receive e-mail. If you do not have an e-mail account, please see the Appendix for information on where to obtain a free e-mail account.



Additional Recommended Computer Capabilities:

These Recommended Computer Capabilities are not required for success in the course but will prove useful.


1. Ability to send e-mail attachments.

2. Ability to create web pages. See Appendix for location of free Web based tutorials.

3. Ability to incorporate graphics into web pages.

4. Space on an Internet Web server. See Appendix for location of free Web space.

5. Ability to upload web pages to a server.



Course Requirement Checklist


____ Background Projects (total of 4)


 ____ 1. Virtual Field Trip Pedagogical Value Paper (10 points)


____ 2. Virtual Field Trip Reviews (10 points)


____ 3. Annotated list of resources (10 points)


____4.  Flow chart of existing virtual field trip (10 points)


____ Creative Projects (total of 4)


 ____ 5. Lesson plan for existing virtual field trip (10 points)


 ____ 6. Flow chart for a simple virtual field trip (10 points)


____ 7. Flow chart for a complex virtual field trip you create (10 points)


____ 8.  Create and deliver a virtual field trip (30 points)


____ Optional Project (may be substituted for one of above)


____ 9. A project of your own design (10 or 30 points)


____ Completed course evaluation form



____ Completed FPU registration form