Download
slide1 n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Acknowledgments PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments

105 Vues Download Presentation
Télécharger la présentation

Acknowledgments

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

  1. Building B.Sc. Geography through Physical Geography Fieldwork Siân Davies-Vollum and Alexandra Savage S.Davies-Vollum@shu.ac.ukA.Savage@shu.ac.uk Geography and Environment subject group, Department of Natural and Built Environment Geographers learn through the soles of their feet (McEwen, 1996) Introduction to Physical Geography Fieldwork The Introduction to Physical Geography module includes four field experiences with distinct skill building objectives: The academic activities of trips are scaffolded to promote student learning, confidence and skill development. Students are assessed via a field notebook due at the end of the second semester that must include all activities from all trips. Formative feedback on the notebook is provided after the initial field trips (Win Hill and Dark Peak). Support sessions are also provided for students both before and after field trips. The Dark Peak and Jurassic Coast trips will be discussed in this poster as they have been evaluated through student feedback forms. • Jurassic Coast Residential Fieldwork • Traditional approaches to fieldwork have involved a guided tour approach, whereby. In the guided tour approach students are taken to multiple destinations where they listen to a talk about the local geography and record the major geographic features through photographs and sketches. Pedagogically this approach has a number of flaws: • To address the issues outlined above and to take account of the increasing number of students studying BSc Geography, which makes the guided tour method more challenging, fieldwork activities have been re-designed. An approach was needed that would encourage students to take a constructivist perspective to learning and which addressed a range of learning styles. With 128 students registered on the module (2013-2014), the first goal was to find ways of creating a meaningful learning experience for each student. To achieve this, the cohort were split into six groups and tasks were designed that encouraged students to collect data in the field, develop a repertoire of fieldwork skills, actively analyse the data collected and evaluate the overall process. • The trip was divided into three field days, each with a morning and an afternoon activity, designed to meet the objectives outlined above. The following activities were undertaken: • Student feedback for the trip highlighted the value the students placed on the experience: 96% agreed that their practical skills had improved, 93% felt their confidence in the subject matter had improved and 95% would recommend the trip for the future. Many students commented that they felt the trip gave them the opportunity to develop a positive rapport with staff and their peers. Many worked with students they had yet to meet on the course. BSc Geography The BSc Geography course began in 2008, born out of a department which already provided human geography and environmental science. The course consists of a combination of environmental, human and physical geography modules. Feedback from the first student cohort highlighted that there was insufficient opportunity to study physical geography, which resulted in the introduction of three core modules as follows: L4: Introduction to Physical Geography L5: Fluvial geomorphology and hydrology (formerly geomorphology) L6: Natural Hazards The QAA benchmark statement for geography states that fieldwork is a discipline specific skill which should be embedded in all geography degrees (QAA, 2007) and some kind of field experience is an essential a component of most geoscience degrees (Rydant et al., 2010). All three new core physical geography modules were developed to include elements of field work. In this presentation we focus our attention on the introductory L4 module and describe how we have developed field experiences to try and build student skills and engagement as well as course cohesiveness and identity. Dark Peak Day Field Trip The Dark peak offers a fantastic local outdoor classroom for Physical Geography students. A day trip was developed that introduced students to elements of Dark Peak geomorphology and geology while building field skills. The trip was split into two half-day activities for groups of approximately 25 students. Students were split into smaller groups of four-five to complete the mapping exercise thus an element of collaborative learning was also introduced. Results indicated that students had an overall positive field experience. 89% of students agreed or strongly agreed that the trip had improved their understanding and 100% found the experience engaging. Looking at written feedback on the forms, most positive comments were related to ‘looking at geographic features’ and ‘learning by seeing’ (Figure two) whereas negative comments were very disparate with never more than a few students identifying a single element of the trip. Reflection Initial evaluations indicate that students find field experiences in physical geography engaging and that their practical skills and understanding of content improves as a result of them. As instructors we have observed the cohort building and increased sense of course identity that has occurred on field trips. However, as we continue to develop field experiences there are issues we still want to address including inclusivity, linking skill-building between trips, and classroom preparation for field trips. Acknowledgments We thank Dr. Mike Heath who developed the initial Physical Geography module for BSc Geography course and who provided the inspiration for the Jurassic Coast field trip and to Dr. Beth Meeds, who has developed and led Physical Geography field exercises at Collegiate Crescent and Win Hill. Figure 1: L4 BSc Geography students on Dark Peak, 2013 • Benefits of field experiences • Recent work by Mogk and Goodwin (2012) indicates that the benefits of field experiences include: • Promoting unique types of learning that can not be achieved in other settings. • Creating cognitive and metacognitive gains for the learner. • Providing affective responses that positively impact student learning. • Pedagogic research indicates that fieldwork also encourages a deep • approach to learning by providing environments in which students • can connect their learning to the real world (Maskalland Stokes, • 2008). In addition, field experiences can be designed to develop • transferrable technical and problem- solving skills (Rydant et al., 2010). We suggest field experiences also help build the identity of a course and provide opportunities to build a cohesive student cohort. Literature cited McEwen, L. (1996) Fieldwork in the undergraduate geography programme: challenges and changes Journal of Geography in Higher Education 20 (3) 379-384 Maskall,J. and Stokes, A., (2008) Designing effective fieldwork for the environmental and natural scientist GEES Subject Centre Learning and Teaching Guide. [Online]. Last accessed April 2014 at http://www.gees.ac.uk/pubs/guides/fw2/GEESfwGuide.pdf Mogk, D.W. and Goodwin, C. (2012) Learning in the field: synthesis of research on thinking and learning in the geosceincesin Kastens, K.A., and Manduca, C.A., eds., Earth and Mind II: A Synthesis of Research on Thinking and Learning in the Geosciences: Geological Society of America Special Paper 486, 131–163. Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education (2007) Benchmark Statement for Geography, Available at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Documents/geography.pdf. Last accessed April 2014. Race, P. (2010) Making Learning Happen: A Guide for Post-Compulsory Education 2nd edition SAGE, London pp250 Rogers (2001) Adult Learning 4thed Open University Press, Buckingham, 225pp. Schiro, M. (2008) Curriculum Theory: Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns, Sage, London, 237pp. Rydant, A.L., Shiplee, B.A., Smith, J.P. and Middlekauf, B.D. (2010) Applying sequential skills across two international field courses. Journal of Geography 109 (6), 2210232. Figure 2: Wordlesummarising feedback from L4 students for Peak District field trip (2012-2013) Figure 3: L4 BSc Geography students, Jurassic Coast, 2014