Teaching In The Field by N. Sivasothi (Feb 2009)

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  • Teaching In The Field by N. Sivasothi (Feb 2009)

    1. 1. MSc Science Communciation Programme Teaching in the field N. Sivasothi a.k.a Otterman NUS Biological Sciences Friday, 13th February 2009
    2. 2. Why are you here?
    3. 3. Your role? • Plan an entire course, manage others? • Teach a group independently? • Act as a facilitator? eg. Familiarisation trips. – Enhance information conveyed – Promote a discussion – Use your greater experience
    4. 4. Student’s role • Learn? • Forced to be there? • Trying to pass the CA? • Be entertained - learn by accident
    5. 5. 1. Introduction • Why have field trips? • Types • The importance of an objectives
    6. 6. 1. Introduction Why have field trips? Can we not simulate? Visualise the subject, phenomenon or ✤ situation. Learn techniques under ‘real life’ conditions. ✤ Understand and deal with the realistic ✤ scenarios imposed by field conditions.
    7. 7. Chek Jawa Transect
    8. 8. Chek Jawa Transect
    9. 9. Mt Imbia Swiflets
    10. 10. Mudflats west of causeway, Western Straits of Johor
    11. 11. Mandai mangroves
    12. 12. Johor Sungei Mandai Besar
    13. 13. Sungei Buloh Causeway Customs Mandai mudflats
    14. 14. Types of field trips and general objectives • (1) Recognition/Familiarisation • See examples from theory. E. g. visit to a mangrove ecosystem, an orchid farm or the zoo. • (2) Techniques • Use specific techniques and procedures subject to field conditions, E. g. Comparison of environmental parameters between a gap and the forest canopy.
    15. 15. (3) Experiential learning
    16. 16. Types of field trips and general objectives • Year 1 - Biodiversity Module (LSM1103) • Year 3 - Ecology • Year 3 - Evolution • Year 3 - Life form and functions
    17. 17. Importance of an objective • E.g. Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve • Introduction to mangrove ecosystem - walk the park to observe flora and fauna. • Study management methods - how former prawn ponds are managed to encourage migratory bird foraging and the significance of Mandai mangroves. • Conservation - difference between a reserve and a nature park.
    18. 18. Importance of an objective • Bukit Timah Nature Reserve • Introduction to a rainforest ecosystem. • Ecological mechanisms of a tropcal rainforest. • Management - overuse by public, feeding of monkeys. • Conservation - conflicting land use, buffer zones
    19. 19. Climbing or learning?
    20. 20. Ponds or birds?
    21. 21. Ponds or birds?
    22. 22. Watching monkey or watching people?
    23. 23. 2. Preparation before the class - the lesson plan. • Meet at least two weeks before scheduled date. • Limiting factors
    24. 24. An achievable objective • Scale the content down to realistically fit • allocated time, space and • student’s attention span • students capability
    25. 25. Recognise your student • C = Do the minimum • B = + Wants more • A = ++ Analyses
    26. 26. Recognise your student • An important challenge • The D student - resists learning • Trick into learning
    27. 27. A common, minimum objective • All TAs convey a compulsory minimum course content - fair for CAs. • Anything else is a bonus/luck of the draw! • Convey this to the student - briefing/handout. • E.g. Suffer or enjoy there are > 60 species of mangrove, but students only introduced to 4-5 common genera during introductory trips.
    28. 28. 3. Preparation before the class The recce trip
    29. 29. 3. Preparation before the class- The recce trip • 3.1 Recce Trip • Conditions at a site may vary considerably, so a recce trip is required. E.g. DBS drain, Labrador/SBWR. • Consult tide-tables for coastal and marine field trips - http://tides.sivasothi.com
    30. 30. 3. Preparation before the class- The recce trip • Tides
    31. 31. Sea shores Various systems of vertical zonation of the sea shore.
    32. 32. Sea shores Various systems of vertical zonation of the sea shore. Example:
    33. 33. Sea shores Various systems of vertical zonation of the sea shore. Example: • Supralittoral (=splash zone) • Zone: > HHWST • Always exposed, i. e. Never covered even by the highest tides.
    34. 34. Sea shores Various systems of vertical zonation of the sea shore. Example: • Supralittoral (=splash zone) • Zone: > HHWST • Always exposed, i. e. Never covered even by the highest tides. • Littoral (= intertidal) • zone: HHWST < Littoral > LLWST • Daily exposure (air) and immersion (seawater), 1-2x/day.
    35. 35. Sea shores Various systems of vertical zonation of the sea shore. Example: • Supralittoral (=splash zone) • Zone: > HHWST • Always exposed, i. e. Never covered even by the highest tides. • Littoral (= intertidal) • zone: HHWST < Littoral > LLWST • Daily exposure (air) and immersion (seawater), 1-2x/day. • Sublittoral • Below LLWST mark • Always covered by water even during lowest tides.
    36. 36. Molles, M. C. Jr., 2007. Ecology: concepts and applications, 4th edition. McGraw-Hill
    37. 37. Sea shores
    38. 38. Sea shores • Waves and tides affect distribution and abundance of intertidal organisms.
    39. 39. Sea shores • Waves and tides affect distribution and abundance of intertidal organisms. • Semidiurnal tides: Two periods of low and high tides daily.
    40. 40. Sea shores • Waves and tides affect distribution and abundance of intertidal organisms. • Semidiurnal tides: Two periods of low and high tides daily. • Diurnal tides: Single low and high tide each day.
    41. 41. Sea shores • Waves and tides affect distribution and abundance of intertidal organisms. • Semidiurnal tides: Two periods of low and high tides daily. • Diurnal tides: Single low and high tide each day.
    42. 42. Sea shores • Waves and tides affect distribution and abundance of intertidal organisms. • Semidiurnal tides: Two periods of low and high tides daily. • Diurnal tides: Single low and high tide each day. • Intertidal zone organisms adapted to amphibious existence.
    43. 43. Sea shores • Waves and tides affect distribution and abundance of intertidal organisms. • Semidiurnal tides: Two periods of low and high tides daily. • Diurnal tides: Single low and high tide each day. • Intertidal zone organisms adapted to amphibious existence.
    44. 44. Sea shores • Waves and tides affect distribution and abundance of intertidal organisms. • Semidiurnal tides: Two periods of low and high tides daily. • Diurnal tides: Single low and high tide each day. • Intertidal zone organisms adapted to amphibious existence. • Differential tolerances to periodicity of air exposure leads to zonation of species.
    45. 45. What time to do the coastal cleanup briefing?
    46. 46. What time to do the coastal cleanup briefing? • Coastal cleanup = Sat 20 Sep 2008: 9am
    47. 47. What time to do the coastal cleanup briefing? • Coastal cleanup = Sat 20 Sep 2008: 9am • Must do briefing on 13 Sep 2008
    48. 48. What time to do the coastal cleanup briefing? • Coastal cleanup = Sat 20 Sep 2008: 9am • Must do briefing on 13 Sep 2008 • 45 mins shift per day = 6 x 45 - > 5 hour difference
    49. 49. What time to do the coastal cleanup briefing? • Coastal cleanup = Sat 20 Sep 2008: 9am • Must do briefing on 13 Sep 2008 • 45 mins shift per day = 6 x 45 - > 5 hour difference • I.e. do briefing in afternoon, 2pm
    50. 50. 0.3m
    51. 51. Field trip yesterday
    52. 52. Coastal Cleanup 2008: Is the date suitable? Swim?
    53. 53. 3. Preparation before the class- The recce trip • Changes to site (disappearing habitat)
    54. 54. Lim Chu Kang
    55. 55. 3. Preparation before the class- The recce trip • 3.2 Plan the route • Limited time so smooth running. Avoid bottlenecks. Cleaning up. TAs must cooperate. Eg. RMBR Phylogenetic tour.
    56. 56. 3. Preparation before the class- The recce trip • 3.3 Pace the content • Amount and sequence of information. • 3.4 Delivery method
    57. 57. 3. Preparation before the class- The recce trip • 3.5 Transport and route • If buses don’t turn up, who do you call? • You lose the convoy, bus driver turns around and asks where? • Teaching point for students - drainage, link to lesson
    58. 58. ...help undergraduates develop intellectual and cognitive skills.
    59. 59. 4. During the field trip Introduce yourself!
    60. 60. 4.1 Flexibility is the key. • Adapt, and coordinate with the other TAs. • Transport & Environment • Students not responding because tired
    61. 61. 4.1 Flexibility is the key.
    62. 62. Horseshoe crab rescue, Mandai Kechil, 13 Mar 2005
    63. 63. 4.2 Emphasise the objective - even to yourself!
    64. 64. diversity or form?
    65. 65. 4.3 Give way to exciting scenes • If a rare or exciting event does take place, don't fight it!
    66. 66. 4.4 Keeping time • Enlist help. • Cut down content, and leave time for a few questions and examples. Better to say less.
    67. 67. 4.4 Keeping time Share resources if possible – Share uncommon finds – go down earlier to catch or collect and pool resources into stations.
    68. 68. 4.5 Always admit when you don't know. • Any fool can ask a question a wise man cannot answer! • Illustrate the difference between • fact, • hypothesis, • an educated guess and • speculation
    69. 69. 4.5 Always admit when you don't know.
    70. 70. 4.6 Helping students understand: practise and dialogue • Have a beginning and an end - Explain objectives, at the end, make the connection. • Repetition to help learn new concepts or names. • Let them tell you
    71. 71. 4.7 Do students understand? Nodding heads mean nothing! • Ask questions. • Allow written responses (hand out rough paper) • Make deliberate but obvious errors (lay traps). • Pop quiz • Provide a focus for qualitative field trips - eg. Coastal assessment of Singapore, a bus journey?. • Tests are the best motivator.
    72. 72. 5. After the field trip • Mailing lists – What you could not answer, the pool does – Clarification to other groups – students began posting answers!
    73. 73. 6. SAFETY PREPARATIONS • 6.1 - Recce the site • 6.2 - Be prepared • 6.3 - Declaration • 6.4 - Observation
    74. 74. Why are you here?
    75. 75. Enjoy yourselves!
    76. 76. Addendum
    77. 77. Singapore, c.1990
    78. 78. Singapore, shore Exposed c.1990 Sheltered shore
    79. 79. Singapore, c.1990 Beach Mangrove
    80. 80. 111

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