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Setting up a successful field course

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Slides from the Workshop 'Setting up a successful fieldcourse' - BES Annual Meeting 2018. Updated with suggestions from the workshop

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Setting up a successful field course

  1. 1. Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse Alice Mauchline, Dan Forman & Derek France
  2. 2. Objectives of session • To share ideas and develop a peer network • To explore what makes a fieldcourse successful • To consider some fieldwork scenarios • To share fieldwork resources Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse
  3. 3. Ice breaker What three things would you consider to be essential fieldwork kit? Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse
  4. 4. Essential field kit suggestions from the workshop Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse Food & water String First aid kit Camera Appropriate fieldwork clothing Something to keep equipment dry Tape measure Watch Hand lens Risk assessments Field site permissions Thematic flexibility Torch Data recording device(s) …
  5. 5. Maw et al. (2011) Biological fieldwork provision in Higher Education. Bioscience Education, 17-1. Tutors' most important reasons for fieldwork from 2010 survey: 1 To experience ‘real’ biology 2 To learn key practical skills (including taxonomic skills, quantitative methods, observation, field sampling etc.) 3 To enthuse and motivate students 4 To develop group and social cohesion and learning 5 To develop professional skills (including teamworking, presentational skills etc.) Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse
  6. 6. Three elements of fieldwork teaching • Preparation work • Time spent in the field • Period following the field work Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse
  7. 7. Top Tips Updated with suggestions from the workshop Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse
  8. 8. Pre-fieldwork Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse Have clear learning outcomes Skills development Find the right field site Prepare students Prepare fieldwork methods Prepare field kit (inc. technology?) Risk assessment and H&S Consider the sustainability and ethics of the work Insurance Data collection, storage & sharing Accessibility & wellbeing Assessment & supervision Social cohesion Plan travel and logistics Check permissions for access to field sites Consider value for money Consider different learning opportunities……
  9. 9. Pre-fieldwork Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse Take staff with a range of expertise Enlist local experts/guides Teach to the capabilities of your students Help students access financial support Map out roles of different staff members & assign responsibilities Discuss cultural awareness with the students Ensure have correct permission for all planned activities Consider timings of activities
  10. 10. During fieldwork Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse Consider student wellbeing Allow time for students to plan, reflect and develop hypotheses Encourage team-working Provide informal feed-back during activities Consider how mobile technologies might be useful Provide good communication routes Be flexible and adapt to situations Avoid students working alone Make contingency plans
  11. 11. During fieldwork Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse Provide time to make sense of ‘accidental’ discoveries and observations Take staff with a range of ID skills – enough to cover all taxa Try to stick with a pre-arranged plan Give students ownership of their research
  12. 12. Post-fieldwork Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse Set reflective tasks Build in linked assessments Provide feedback promptly Develop fieldwork learning in follow-on lectures etc. Reflect yourself and amend plans for next time
  13. 13. Fieldwork Resources Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse
  14. 14. Fieldwork Audit Tool • Reflective tool designed to help staff examine and develop current fieldwork practices • Series of questions that help staff identify – Aspects of current good practice – Areas where change might be needed – Innovations in fieldwork learning • Staff can then review & improve on any aspects that are underperforming • Available at: www.enhancingfieldwork.org.uk Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse
  15. 15. • Aim – To enhance student learning during fieldwork through the use of technology • Investigating use of mobile technologies to enhance learning including concept of ‘Bring Your Own Device’ • Website full of fieldwork teaching resources • Showcase – University of Reading – Sept 2019 Networks: Enhancing Fieldwork Learning www.enhancingfieldwork.org.uk Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse @fieldwork_ntf
  16. 16. Networks: BES Teaching and Learning SIG Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse
  17. 17. Books • Maskall, J. and Stokes, A. (2008) Designing Effective Fieldwork for the Environmental and Natural Sciences. GEES Subject Centre Learning and Teaching Guide. https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/designing- effective-fieldwork-environmental-and-natural-sciences • France, D. et al. (2015) Enhancing Fieldwork Learning using Mobile Devices. Springer Briefs in Ecology, Springer. • Henderson, P.A. and Southwood, T.R.E. (2016) Ecological methods. 4th Edition. John Wiley & Sons. Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse
  18. 18. Resources for students • Peacock, J., Mauchline, A. and Park, J.R. (2011) Fieldwork. In: Effective Learning in the Life Sciences: How students can achieve their true potential. Ed. Adams, D. Wiley-Blackwell. • EFL Student pages https://enhancingfieldwork.org.uk/student-learning/ https://enhancingfieldwork.org.uk/student-research/ • Travel guide - helping you prepare for your travel abroad https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/system/files/travel20guide20for20students2 0and20staff20unbranded.pdf • Coming soon… BES Guide to Field Research Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse
  19. 19. • BES Teaching and Learning SIG https://besteachingandlearning.wordpress.com/ • Field Studies Council www.field-studies-council.org • British Ecological Society https://www.britishecologicalsociety.org/learning-and- resources/learning-resources/ • Royal Geographical Society https://www.rgs.org/in-the-field/ • The Geological Society https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/FieldResources • Enhancing Fieldwork Learning www.enhancingfieldwork.org • Advance HE (formerly HEA) www.heacademy.ac.uk Workshop: Setting up a successful fieldcourse Websites

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