INTERACTIVE COMPUTER PROGRAMME FOR SELF-TEACHING OF SOIL THIN SECTI0N DESCRITION
J. Aguilar1, C. Dorronsoro1, G. Stoops2 and J. Femandez1
1 Dpto de Edafologia y Quimica Agricola, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
2 Intemational Training Centre for Post-Graduate Soil Scientists, University of Gent, Krijgslaan 281, B-9000 Gent, Belgium
A computer programme for teaching the principles of soil thin section description based on the ISSS "Handbook for Soil Thin Section Description" has been developed. lts aim is to provide an additional method for self-teaching of soil micromorphology in a fast and easy way. The programme is constructed in Hypercard 2 2, using a Hypertalk language for Apple-Macintoch, but could be adapted for Windows.
Following points are discussed; principles of micropedology, sampling, principles of thin section preparation, general fabric concepts, pores and structures, groundmass (including c/f related distributions and b-fabrics) and pedofeatures.
Apart from concise texts, the programme contains about 400 different colour rnicrographs and some video extracs (e.g. sampling procedure). A general test is incorporated, giving students the possibility to correct their identifications.
Experience with former similar programmes demonstrateh that its strong points are: easy accessibility, its interactive nature, the large variety of examples, clear visualization of concepts and adequate tests.