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Fieldwork: Field-Based Teaching and Learning

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  1. Fieldwork:Field-Based Teaching and Learning Learning & Teaching in Higher Education (GTAs and p/t tutors) Peter Hughes, CED

  2. Session overview • Introduction • Field-Based T&L: types and purpose • Activity: Your Campus • Field-based T&L: influences and elements • Field-based T&L: issues and challenges • Review

  3. Session learning outcomes By the end of this session, you will have: identified and discussed characteristics of teaching and learning through fieldwork, within your own subject; experienced and reflected on both tutor-led and student-led field-based learning activity; considered key elements of effective field-based learning and teaching. Our focus is on the educational rather than organisational aspects of field teaching.

  4. Field-based teaching and learning The ‘field’: “any arena or zone within a subject where supervised learning can take place via first-hand experience, outside the constraints of the four-walls classroom setting.” Lonergan and Andresen (1988), cited in Maskall and Stokes (2009): 2

  5. Discussion • Drawing from this definition of the ‘field’, list and discuss examples of field-based teaching and learning: • That you have experienced as a student. • That occur within the departments/schools that you are based in.

  6. Examples • Residential field weeks: • UK and worldwide • Range of subjects • Site visits • Exhibitions and conferences • Museums and galleries • Employer visits • Observational visits – e.g. court rooms • Locally based project work (campus, locality) Images from Microsoft ClipArt gallery

  7. Why do field-based teaching? What are the potential advantages? Are there particular learning outcomes that can be developed more effectively in the field?

  8. Why do field-based teaching? Students can visit places they may not normally see. Real-world engagement rather than idealised textbook. Develops certain skills effectively: observation, analysis, enquiry, teamwork, leadership, responsibility. Facilitates more relaxed interaction between students and staff; development of cohort. Livingston, Matthews & Catley (1998: 3)

  9. Benefits of field-based learning and teaching The experiences contributed to student engagement in the learning process, increased their understanding of the course content, and allowed students the opportunity to apply their knowledge through hands-on, real life situations. Overall, the activities enhanced the quality of instruction for both the students and the instructors, thus providing a more interactive, high quality learning atmosphere. Kozar and Marcketti (2008)

  10. Activity: Your Campus • Aims: • To consider the influence of the campus on the student learning experience. • To experience and reflect on a field-based L&T activity. • Based on concept of ‘campus curriculum’ developed as part of Bradford Ecoversity’s 3-Curriculum Model (Hopkinson, Hughes and Layer, 2008)

  11. Activity: The Task • Tutor-led activity • Brief guided walk highlighting elements of campus. • Student-led activity • In small groups touring campus to discuss and identify: • Elements/locations that stimulate a positive learning environment • Elements/locations that detract from the learning environment • One proposal for change – related to a specific location

  12. Influences on Fieldwork Design (Maskall & Stokes, 2009)

  13. Elements in Fieldwork Design (Maskall & Stokes, 2009)

  14. Issues and Challenges in Field-based T&L What are the main issues and challenges in developing effective and inclusive field-based teaching and learning opportunities for students? Are there some key barriers to developing field-based learning and teaching opportunities for our students?

  15. Issues and Challenges Complex organisation and preparation. Health and Safety – risk assessment. (see Fieldwork Safety Notes by Ben Stern, AGES, University of Bradford) Duty of Care. Cost. Accessibility and inclusivity – physically, economically, educationally. Balancing these with the desirability of providing student-led learning experiences.

  16. Review Field-based L&T presents significant opportunities for active, collaborative, enquiry-based student activity. Those opportunities exist in a wider range of subjects than typically engaged in the activity. Effective field-based L&T requires careful design, planning and organisation.

  17. References & Resources College of the Atlantic (2009) Field Based Teaching: Thoughts and Experiences [online] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B13xAl30HYg Hopkinson, P., Hughes, P. and Layer, G. (2008) Sustainable Graduates- a whole Institutional approach. Environmental Education Researchvol 14 (4) pp 435-454. Kozar, J.M. and Marcketti, S.B (2008) Utlizing field-based instruction as an effective teaching startegy, College Student Journal, June 2008 [online] Available at: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCR/is_2_42/ai_n25454138/ Accessed 19/02/2011 Livingstone, I., Matthews, H. And Castley, A. (1998) Fieldwork and Dissertations in Geography, Cheltenham, Geography Discipline Network. Maskall, J. and Stokes, A. ( 2009 ) Designing Effective Fieldwork for the Environmental and Natural Sciences, Plymouth, GEES Subject Centre, [online] Available at: http://www.gees.ac.uk/pubs/guides/fw2/GEESfwGuide.pdf Accessed 19/02/2011 Wilkinson, P. And Bissell, G. (2006) Human geography and questions for social work education, The Journal of Practice Teaching in Health and Social Work, 7, 2, 55-68.