Compass Estafet Across Indonesia

The Covid-19 situation forced all the classes moved to the online platform. Some classes have good success in moving to the new platform. But some others don’t.

I faced the problem when teaching Structural Geology classes for the geology and geophysics students of Universitas Indonesia. I need to teach them how to use a geological compass to measure the geological structures. This activity is not something that you can replace only with watching a video or with a written assignment. They have to do it in person. But with the pandemic situation and all classes shifted to online classes, should I just skip this part, assuming the students will learn it another time in another class? Maybe not.

Instead, I made a plan to send the compasses to them. If they have the compass in the house, they can learn how to use it by measuring any available geometrical objects around them. The object does not have to be a geological object. This also clarifies that a geological compass will simply measure any geometrical orientation, regardless of the object. The students then send me the recorded video demonstrating and explaining how to use the compass to measure that geometrical objects.

So I have decided to send them compasses. But how to send the compass? I have 180 students enrolled in this class, with the houses located across Indonesia, from Sumatra to Sulawesi (No students from Papua Island so far). The department doesn’t even have 100 compasses in the locker.

I realized that they don’t have to learn the compass simultaneously, and they have around four months to learn the compass. So I decided to use only twelve compasses. I will pass the compass to twelve students, and then they will pass the compass to the twelve other students, and so on. I call this as compass estafet. From twelve compasses, three compasses were shipped to Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, and Java.

Before the estafet started, I sent them video instruction on how to use the compass:

After they watched the recording, the estafet begins. The estafet route for three different compasses for students outside Greater Jakarta are represented with lines in the map below:

Estafet routes to pass compass between islands of Java, Sumatera, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi. All started and finished in Universitas Indonesia, Depok Campus.

And it worked as planned! Here are some videos that students made.

Now the classes have completed, and all the compasses have safely returned to Universitas Indonesia.