Location-based mobile phone applications for increasing student engagement with field-based extra-curricular activities

Webb, Julia C and Stafford, Richard (2013) Location-based mobile phone applications for increasing student engagement with field-based extra-curricular activities. Planet, 27 (1). pp. 29-34. ISSN 1473-1835

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Abstract

With pressures on university and student finance, and an ever-growing number of internet-enabled portable devices, we investigate the ability for free, ‘self-guided’ field-trips – using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) features present on most modern smartphones, combined with internet access to provide background information and receive responses from participants. We create a field-trip around Cheltenham, to examine rock types commonly used for buildings. Student motivation to complete the extra-curricular task was reasonable, with 50% of students participating. However, few thought their geological knowledge had improved. We suggest that, as well as some minor technological issues, the potential use of mobile internet and apps for teaching in Higher Education may have been overestimated (especially since motivation will decrease with novelty of the use of the technology). However, we acknowledge these conclusions are based only on a small pilot study. This may be related to how people in general, and students in particular, use mobile technology: instant bite-sized knowledge conflicting with the deep learning required for Higher Education.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QE Geology
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Natural & Social Sciences > Environmental Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Environmental Dynamics & Governance
Depositing User: Julia Webb
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2016 10:47
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2016 22:25
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3179

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