Developing Digital Teaching and Learning Resources for the Virtual Microscope

The Project Team

Project Lead
University College Cork
Project Partners
Trinity College Dublin
National University of Ireland Galway
University College Dublin
The Open University

Primary Contact
Dr Patrick Meere
University College Cork


The GeoLab project was designed to deliver teaching and learning resources to improve the development of essential petrological skills at the four national higher education geoscience units across Ireland. The project involved the collaborative development of a range of shared teaching and learning resources agreed by all partners, with the ability of each partner to utilise the resources in their own teaching programmes. The project resulted in the consolidation and digitisation of rock samples across the country and the creation of online tutorials and manuals for use by staff in tandem with the Open University’s Virtual Microscope. This has meant that, rather than a student needing to sit down with a physical microscope and a physical thin section of a particular rock type, working alone and cons trained by the range of physical samples available and the timing of availability, which is the conventional and traditional way of doing it, an online digital resource was created which captured microscopic images of different types of rocks under different types of light conditions. This digitised rock collection, and accompanying interface, allows students to access digitised rock samples within and outside class time and to view samples together, allowing for deeper learning. The complete GeoLab collection has been compiled and donated for use with the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI).


Final Project Review (March 2018)