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The Challenges and Future of Fieldwork Derek France Dept of Geography & Development Studies Fieldwork in.

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Presentation on theme: "The Challenges and Future of Fieldwork Derek France Dept of Geography & Development Studies Fieldwork in."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Challenges and Future of Fieldwork Derek France Dept of Geography & Development Studies Fieldwork in GEES event, Southampton Solent University, November 2011

2 The spectacular setting of the South Islands west coast is a strong draw to students studying Alpine Physical Geography. Photo: Ian Fuller.

3 History and form of Fieldwork.. active engagement with the external world UK Quality Assurance Agency benchmark statement 2002 effective learning cannot be expected just because we take students into the field (Lonergan & Andreson, 1998, p.70 ) the principal training of geographers should come, wherever possible by doing fieldwork. (Sauer, 1956, p.296) Fieldwork is as intrinsic to geography as clinical practice is to medicine. Bligh (1975) Gold et al. (1991) argued that fieldwork is at the heart of geography.

4 Fieldwork Objectives Technical Skills Teamwork Transferable Skills Real World Researcher Social benefits

5 Student comments on Fieldwork.. More exciting than lectures and get to see what can normally only be read about. Broadened my overall understanding of geography through a practical learning experience which is also easier to remember Hands on work is much more fun and I understand the processes more Enabled me to learn how to use the equipment Developed a deeper understanding of glacial processes Helped me make friends

6 Can we make fieldwork better? Challenge cards What do you believe are the main challenges in relation to undertaking fieldwork? What are the obstacles

7 Future of fieldwork? Future cards How do you perceive the future of fieldwork in HE? What are the greatest threats/opportunities?

8 Future of fieldwork? Technology cards What existing or emerging technologies do you see being adopted in fieldwork in the next 5 years?

9 Team:Derek France, Julian Park, Alice Mauchline, Katharine Welsh and Brian Whalley Enhancing Fieldwork Learning

10 Outline 3-year National Teaching Fellowship project (2010 – on) Funded by the Higher Education Academy Cross-disciplinary: Geography, Earth sciences, Geology, Biosciences and aligned subjects Aims of the Project to enhance student learning in fieldwork through the use of technology to focus on hardware and software (e.g. Web 2.0) that may enhance learning to gather and share good practice of using technology in fieldwork Enhancing Fieldwork Learning

11 Ways to Get Involved: 1.Submit a case study of good practice, an example of when you have used technology in fieldwork to enhance learning. 1.Join us at our Wet and Wild residential weekend in FSC, Preston Montford, Shropshire, 14 th -16 th September free places & travel bursaries are available Take a look at our website: or Contact Dr Katharine Welsh ( ) for more information.

12 Open Fieldwork Project Open Educational Resources (OER) Project funding from JISC / HEA Projects identifying, collecting and promoting collections of OER and other material around a common theme

13 Fieldwork resources 1.Location-specific (e.g. virtual field trip) 2.Generic: a)Skills or techniques-based b)General information or guidance (e.g. safety briefings, good practice guides)

14 Fieldwork resources Formats:

15 Explore the FERC!

16 Concluding comments Fieldwork in an important learning environment Important to ensure effective learning in the field Make sure we make best use of pre, peri and post experiences Optimise the use of technology enhancements Share good practice

17 Action Plan What have I learnt? What I am going to do next as a result of this fieldwork event? –Where will I be in 3 months –Fill out the postcard What 3 things can you feedback to colleagues?


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