Steve Carey and Haraldur Sigurdsson recently announced the development of a new instructional website dealing with explosive volcanism and the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius volcano in Italy (http://www.gso.uri.edu/vesuvius/Home/index.html).
A principal feature of this web-based exercise is the coupling of inquiry-based techniques with a virtual reality field trip using panoramic photography and eruption simulations to enable a unique level of interactivity between students and the electronic media.
The module follows the NSF-approved approach of Focus, Explore, Reflect and Apply, which is based on effective pedagogical research findings. The main objective is to engage students as explorers and observers, enabling them to learn about volcanic processes and hazards, collect virtual field information, and then formulate hypotheses about the effects of explosive volcanic eruptions and the deposits that they produce. It is suitable for Introductory Earth Science or Natural Hazard courses.