Using the Virtual Exploration to achieve your Award during COVID-19
What is the Virtual Exploration?
The Virtual Exploration or VE (previously known as the Virtual Bronze Exploration or VBE) is an online resource (currently administered through Google Classrooms) for Participants to complete their Adventurous Journey (AJ) in a virtual (or semi-virtual) space. Depending on the COVID-19 Public Health restrictions, a hybrid or virtual and physical/field would be a preferred way to complete the AJ Section.
As with the traditional AJ, the VE aims to develop teamwork, problem-solving, cooperation, and planning skills. (Refer to Section 6.3 of the Award Handbook regarding Benefits and Outcomes of the Adventurous Journey section).
Who can use the Virtual Exploration?
The VE was originally designed for Bronze level Participants but is now also available to Silver Participants who are part of an Award Centre and who are not able to participate in a traditional AJ. The VE provides an Award Centre with the option to organise an AJ virtually during COVID-19 (currently approved to 31 December 2022).
Do I Need Approval?
The VE can be approved by an Award Centre (Award Leader) as long as the requirements are being met. There is no obligation to use the material and process via Google Classroom.
The Virtual Exploration is completed in 5 Stages:
- Stage 1: Preparation & Training (Part A & B)
- Stage 2: Team Planning
- Stage 3: Practice
- Stage 4: Virtual Journey (Expedition)
- Stage 5: Research Project (Exploration)
Find out more in the resources below.
Accessing The Virtual Exploration
Using the Belouga Platform
A full Virtual Exploration for the Bronze and Silver AJ is now available through educational services provider ‘Belouga’ for a small subscription fee. For information and instructions about how to access the VE via Belouga see the steps directly below:
To get started on Belouga:
- Award Leaders and Participants need to set up a Belgoua account to get started go to: https://www.belouga.org/dukeofed
- Award Leaders and Participants selects “Become an Explorer’’
- Award Leaders and Participant registers as an “Organization Member”, enter personal information into the required fields
- Award Leaders and Participant do not need to enter a “Membership Code” on the payment page
- Following completion of the signup form, the Award Leader and Participant to check their email for a confirmation message.
- The Award Leader and Participant then click on the confirmation message, which will have a link to get started and bring them directly to the VE program in Belouga.
Workflow for using Belouga
Using Google Classrooms
- Award Leaders and Participants need to set up a Google account. With a Google account, you can’t get into Classrooms.
- Award Centres can use personal Google accounts to access Classroom.
- Award Centres can also Google accounts that are part of a G-Suite. You will need G-Suite for Education, or G-Suite for Nonprofit to access Classroom.
- Once you have an account and are ready to start the VE on Google Classrooms, reach out to your Division. They will help you with the next steps.
There are several resources available to you to do the VE without Google Classroom, or another virtual learning platform.
Resources and Activity Packs for using Google Classrooms
VBE Webinar Information
AAFC Activity Pack
Canadian VBE Activity Pack