Using Dynamic Visualizations to Enhance Learning in Physical Geography

Using Dynamic Visualizations to Enhance Learning in Physical Geography

Joan Bellou (The University of Ioannina, Greece)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-845-1.ch105
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Abstract

According to the literature, the problems that appear in Physical Geography teaching and learning can be classified in the following five categories: 1. Terminology: Students cannot describe geographic characteristics using geographic terminology (Harwood & Jackson, 1993; Keliher, 1997; Golledge, 2005). 2. Interpretation: There are misconceptions and difficulties in the interpretation and explanation of geographic characteristics and phenomena. This is quite often observed among elementary students (Schee et al., 1992; Neighbour, 1992; Livni & Bar, 1998; Pedersen et al., 2005). 3. Language: There is a difficulty for students to express themselves verbally, especially using geographic terminology. Pupils perform better using alternative methods, such as sketching geomorphologic evolution. There is not a problem in perception, but rather in the usage of language (Harwood & Jackson, 1993; Keliher, 1997; Gobert, 2000; Golledge, 2005). 4. Symbols: Misconceptions and difficulties arise from the frequent use of symbols for geographic characteristics rendering. Symbols mainly concern the color attribution of hypsometric levels, discrimination between mountains, hills, valleys and plains, catchment basins and erosion levels (Fredrich & Fuller, 1998; Nordstrom & Jackson, 2001; Livni & Bar, 2001; Verdi & Kulhavy, 2002). 5. Static media: Natural phenomena have a dynamic character that is difficult or impossible to be represented in a static way (Siegburg, 1987; Schee et al., 1992; Neighbour, 1992; Livni & Bar, 1998; Cooshna Naik & Teelock, 2006). Misconceptions mainly concern changes on the earth anaglyph and especially the phenomenon of erosion (Gregg, 2001).
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Introduction

Physical geography is a domain where many misconceptions and learning problems have been reported through the years in all ages, from elementary education through to university level (Siegburg, 1987; Schee et al., 1992; Neighbour, 1992; Harwood & Jackson, 1993; Purnell & Solman, 1993; Forsyth, 1995; Keliher, 1997; Livni & Bar, 1998; Bartlett, 1999; LeVasseur, 1999; Gobert, 2000; Gerber, 2001, Verdi & Kulhavy, 2002; Morgan & Tidmarsh, 2004; Pedersen et al., 2005; Cooshna Naik & Teelock, 2006).

According to the literature, the problems that appear in Physical Geography teaching and learning can be classified in the following five categories:

  • 1.

    Terminology: Students cannot describe geographic characteristics using geographic terminology (Harwood & Jackson, 1993; Keliher, 1997; Golledge, 2005).

  • 2.

    Interpretation: There are misconceptions and difficulties in the interpretation and explanation of geographic characteristics and phenomena. This is quite often observed among elementary students (Schee et al., 1992; Neighbour, 1992; Livni & Bar, 1998; Pedersen et al., 2005).

  • 3.

    Language: There is a difficulty for students to express themselves verbally, especially using geographic terminology. Pupils perform better using alternative methods, such as sketching geomorphologic evolution. There is not a problem in perception, but rather in the usage of language (Harwood & Jackson, 1993; Keliher, 1997; Gobert, 2000; Golledge, 2005).

  • 4.

    Symbols: Misconceptions and difficulties arise from the frequent use of symbols for geographic characteristics rendering. Symbols mainly concern the color attribution of hypsometric levels, discrimination between mountains, hills, valleys and plains, catchment basins and erosion levels (Fredrich & Fuller, 1998; Nordstrom & Jackson, 2001; Livni & Bar, 2001; Verdi & Kulhavy, 2002).

  • 5.

    Static media: Natural phenomena have a dynamic character that is difficult or impossible to be represented in a static way (Siegburg, 1987; Schee et al., 1992; Neighbour, 1992; Livni & Bar, 1998; Cooshna Naik & Teelock, 2006). Misconceptions mainly concern changes on the earth anaglyph and especially the phenomenon of erosion (Gregg, 2001).

The proposals for the solution of these problems can be classified in the following three categories, as the critical review of the preceding literature shows.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Occlusion: A term indicating that a region which is visible in the previous image has now been covered/obscured from view in the current image.

Supervised Segmentation: The process of achieving final segmentation results with the aid of human guidance and input (this is in contrast to automatic segmentation where no human intervention and guidance is required).

Video Object Segmentation: The process of partitioning a digital video into two or more meaningful regions, called objects.

Change Detection: A method for performing temporal/motion segmentation based on subtracting two images and labeling each pixel as “stationary” or “moving” using a predefined threshold.

Foreground: A term to refer to the object of interest in an image.

Background: A term to refer to the object that is of little interest or visual importance in an image.

Motion Estimation: The process of inferring the magnitude and direction of motion in a visual scene from a video.

MPEG: MPEG is the abbreviation for “Moving Picture Experts Group” and this is a working group of ISO/IEC in charge of the development of video and audio compression standards.

Mask: A term for referring to a grey-level digital image used to represent the various regions (marked with different labels or values) that encompass the various video objects.

Dis-Occlusion: A term indicating that a region which has been covered/obscured from view in the previous image has now become visible in the current image.

Video Object: A meaningful concatenated region in a digital video.

Video: A term to refer to a sequence of consecutively captured images.

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