Undergraduate geography fieldcourses: exploring the learning experiences of students

Cottingham, Claire M (2002) Undergraduate geography fieldcourses: exploring the learning experiences of students. Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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There are many assertions made regarding the nature of fieldwork within geography. Fieldwork is believed by many (Gold et al, 1991; Jenkins, 1994; Kent et al, 1997) to promote transferable skills and deeper learning. Many articles have been published describing specific fieldcourses, what is done on them and how the tutors have attempted to meet their objectives (Ashworth, 1983; Bradbeer, 1996; Dove, 1997; Higgitt, 1996a), which are mainly written from the staff perspective and say little about the experience of students. The purpose of this research is to understand better the qualitatively different ways in which students experience the specific learning environment of a fieldcourse. The research was based upon a qualitative inquiry using a modified form of phenomenography. Two case studies were conducted to explore the learning experiences of students and what may influence these experiences. The research methods used to explore the learning experiences of students included semi-structured and open-ended interviews, observation, diaries, questionnaires and Kolb's (1985) Learning Style Inventory. From· the research undertaken it is possible to conclude that students with different learning styles tend to experience learning on fieldcourses in different ways. Accommodators and convergers generally appeared to learn at a deeper level than assimilators and divergers (although the sample size is small). Prior fieldwork experience, student learning style, the course design, understanding of the nature of fieldwork and social factors help account for the differences in learning experiences.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Healey, Mickmhealey@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Roberts, Carolyncroberts1@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Additional Information: A print copy of this thesis is available for reference use only.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fieldwork; Geographical education; Student learning; Experiential learning, UK: Kolb
Related URLs:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human geography. Human ecology. Anthropogeography
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2022 16:08
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:59
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/10665

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