Thanks everyone for the lively discussion and the insights.  For those of you who are going to be at GSA it would be great to meet and continue this discussion.

A little bit of background on my original questions.  I'm in the last stages of a dissertation on the impact of virtual field environment design and use on teacher education.  I also spend the bulk of my teaching time working with non-majors.  So I have a strong interest in how VFEs can be used to support field education, how their design reflects authentic fieldwork, and how they can be used to give students a "taste" of fieldwork when getting into the field isn't possible.

Frank G.

Frank Granshaw

Earth Science Instructor
Portland Community College
Sylvania Campus
Portland, OR