Improvements in multimedia technology create opportunities to remotely observe places in virtual mode. Our paper focuses on the creation and use of virtual fieldtrips in design studios with the aim of providing an in-field perspective for students, so that they can observe and characterize a 7300-hectare (18000-acre) study area. Specifically, in 2020 and 2021, we assembled and twice employed a livestreaming platform that offers the possibility of conducting site visits virtually. To evaluate the extent to which the virtual fieldtrips helped students characterize the study area, we performed a qualitative analysis using students’ feedbacks from an online survey. Results showed that virtual site visits have value as an alternative fieldtrip mode, particularly in saving travel time, and can be improved with higher bandwidth mobile network connections and real-time verbal communication between remote participants and in-field livestreaming hosts. Most importantly, virtual fieldtrips, compared to more traditional media types, e. g., photos and videos, provide a richer context and a dynamic experience, which enhances each student’s perception of the study area in both biophysical and socio-cultural dimensions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Computer Science Applications
- Nature and Landscape Conservation