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MSc Science Communciation
       Programme


Teaching in the field

N. Sivasothi a.k.a Otterman
  NUS Biological Sciences
...
Why are
  you
 here?
          2
Your role?

• Plan an entire course, manage others?
• Teach a group independently?
• Act as a facilitator? eg. Familiarisa...
Student’s role

•   Learn?
•   Forced to be there?
•   Trying to pass the CA?
•   Be entertained - learn by accident




 ...
1. Introduction

• Why have field trips?
• Types
• The importance of an objectives




                                   ...
1. Introduction

Why have field trips?
Can we not simulate?

    Visualise the subject, phenomenon or
✤
    situation.
   ...
Chek Jawa Transect




                     7
Chek Jawa Transect




                     8
Mt Imbia Swiflets




                    9
10
11
12
Mudflats west of causeway,
Western Straits of Johor




                            13
Mandai mangroves




                   14
15
Johor




Sungei Mandai Besar
                         16
Sungei Buloh     Causeway   Customs




Mandai mudflats
                                      17
18
Types of field trips and
            general objectives

• (1) Recognition/Familiarisation
   • See examples from theory. ...
(3)
Experiential
  learning




               20
Types of field trips and
                 general objectives



•   Year   1   -   Biodiversity Module (LSM1103)
•   Year ...
Importance of an objective

• E.g. Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve
  • Introduction to mangrove ecosystem - walk the park
  ...
Importance of an objective

• Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
  • Introduction to a rainforest ecosystem.
  • Ecological mechan...
Climbing
    or
learning?




            24
Ponds or birds?
                  25
Ponds or birds?
                  26
Watching
monkey or
watching
 people?




            27
2. Preparation before the class -
           the lesson plan.



• Meet at least two weeks before scheduled date.


• Limi...
An achievable objective


• Scale the content down to realistically fit
   • allocated time, space and
   • student’s atte...
30
Recognise your student


  • C = Do the minimum
  • B = + Wants more
  • A = ++ Analyses




                         31
Recognise your student

• An important challenge
• The D student - resists learning
• Trick into learning




            ...
A common, minimum objective

• All TAs convey a compulsory minimum course
  content - fair for CAs.
• Anything else is a b...
34
35
3. Preparation before the
          class
      The recce trip




                            36
3. Preparation before the class-
         The recce trip

• 3.1 Recce Trip
  • Conditions at a site may vary considerably,...
3. Preparation before the class-
         The recce trip



• Tides




                                   38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
Sea shores
             Various systems of vertical zonation of the sea shore.
Example:
 •   Supralittoral (=splash zone)
...
Molles, M. C. Jr., 2007. Ecology: concepts and applications, 4th edition. McGraw-Hill




                                ...
49
Sea shores

•   Waves and tides affect distribution and abundance
    of intertidal organisms.

•   Semidiurnal tides: Two...
What time to do the
coastal cleanup briefing?
•   Coastal cleanup = Sat 20 Sep 2008: 9am

•   Must do briefing on 13 Sep 200...
52
0.3m




       53
54
Field trip yesterday




                       55
56
Coastal Cleanup 2008:
 Is the date suitable?




Swim?




                         57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
3. Preparation before the class-
         The recce trip



• Changes to site (disappearing
  habitat)




               ...
66
67
Lim Chu Kang
               68
69
3. Preparation before the class-
         The recce trip


• 3.2 Plan the route
  • Limited time so smooth running. Avoid ...
71
72
73
74
75
3. Preparation before the class-
         The recce trip


• 3.3 Pace the content
  • Amount and sequence of information.
...
77
78
3. Preparation before the class-
         The recce trip

• 3.5 Transport and route
  • If buses don’t turn up, who do you...
...help undergraduates
develop intellectual and
      cognitive skills.




                           80
4. During the field trip



     Introduce yourself!




                           81
4.1 Flexibility is the key.


• Adapt, and coordinate with the other TAs.
• Transport & Environment
• Students not respond...
4.1 Flexibility is the key.




                              83
Horseshoe crab rescue,
   Mandai Kechil,
    13 Mar 2005




                     84
4.2 Emphasise the objective -
      even to yourself!




                                85
diversity or form?




                     86
4.3 Give way to exciting scenes

• If a rare or exciting event does take place,
  don't fight it!




                    ...
88
4.4 Keeping time


• Enlist help.


• Cut down content, and leave time for a few
  questions and examples. Better to say l...
4.4 Keeping time


Share resources if possible
  – Share uncommon finds
  – go down earlier to catch or collect and pool
 ...
91
4.5 Always admit when you
         don't know.


• Any fool can ask a question a wise man
  cannot answer!
  • Illustrate ...
4.5 Always admit when you
       don't know.




                            93
4.6 Helping students
    understand: practise and
            dialogue

• Have a beginning and an end - Explain
  objectiv...
95
4.7 Do students understand?

Nodding heads mean nothing!

• Ask questions.
• Allow written responses (hand out rough paper...
97
5. After the field trip


• Mailing lists
  – What you could not answer, the pool
    does
  – Clarification to other grou...
99
6. SAFETY PREPARATIONS

   •   6.1   -   Recce the site
   •   6.2   -   Be prepared
   •   6.3   -   Declaration
   •   6...
101
102
103
104
Why are
  you
 here?
          105
Enjoy
yourselves!




              106
Addendum




           107
Singapore, c.1990




                    108
Singapore, shore
  Exposed c.1990



            Sheltered shore




                              109
Singapore, c.1990
      Beach



                Mangrove




                           110
111


      111
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Teaching in the field by N. Sivasothi, ver Feb 2009

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Teaching in the field by N. Sivasothi, ver 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 1
  2. 2. Why are you here? 2
  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 3
  4. 4. Student’s role • Learn? • Forced to be there? • Trying to pass the CA? • Be entertained - learn by accident 4
  5. 5. 1. Introduction • Why have field trips? • Types • The importance of an objectives 5
  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. 6
  7. 7. Chek Jawa Transect 7
  8. 8. Chek Jawa Transect 8
  9. 9. Mt Imbia Swiflets 9
  10. 10. 10
  11. 11. 11
  12. 12. 12
  13. 13. Mudflats west of causeway, Western Straits of Johor 13
  14. 14. Mandai mangroves 14
  15. 15. 15
  16. 16. Johor Sungei Mandai Besar 16
  17. 17. Sungei Buloh Causeway Customs Mandai mudflats 17
  18. 18. 18
  19. 19. 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. 19
  20. 20. (3) Experiential learning 20
  21. 21. Types of field trips and general objectives • Year 1 - Biodiversity Module (LSM1103) • Year 3 - Ecology • Year 3 - Evolution • Year 3 - Life form and functions 21
  22. 22. 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. 22
  23. 23. 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 23
  24. 24. Climbing or learning? 24
  25. 25. Ponds or birds? 25
  26. 26. Ponds or birds? 26
  27. 27. Watching monkey or watching people? 27
  28. 28. 2. Preparation before the class - the lesson plan. • Meet at least two weeks before scheduled date. • Limiting factors 28
  29. 29. An achievable objective • Scale the content down to realistically fit • allocated time, space and • student’s attention span • students capability 29
  30. 30. 30
  31. 31. Recognise your student • C = Do the minimum • B = + Wants more • A = ++ Analyses 31
  32. 32. Recognise your student • An important challenge • The D student - resists learning • Trick into learning 32
  33. 33. 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. 33
  34. 34. 34
  35. 35. 35
  36. 36. 3. Preparation before the class The recce trip 36
  37. 37. 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 37
  38. 38. 3. Preparation before the class- The recce trip • Tides 38
  39. 39. 39
  40. 40. 40
  41. 41. 41
  42. 42. 42
  43. 43. 43
  44. 44. 44
  45. 45. 45
  46. 46. 46
  47. 47. 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. 47
  48. 48. Molles, M. C. Jr., 2007. Ecology: concepts and applications, 4th edition. McGraw-Hill 48
  49. 49. 49
  50. 50. 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. 50
  51. 51. 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 51
  52. 52. 52
  53. 53. 0.3m 53
  54. 54. 54
  55. 55. Field trip yesterday 55
  56. 56. 56
  57. 57. Coastal Cleanup 2008: Is the date suitable? Swim? 57
  58. 58. 58
  59. 59. 59
  60. 60. 60
  61. 61. 61
  62. 62. 62
  63. 63. 63
  64. 64. 64
  65. 65. 3. Preparation before the class- The recce trip • Changes to site (disappearing habitat) 65
  66. 66. 66
  67. 67. 67
  68. 68. Lim Chu Kang 68
  69. 69. 69
  70. 70. 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. 70
  71. 71. 71
  72. 72. 72
  73. 73. 73
  74. 74. 74
  75. 75. 75
  76. 76. 3. Preparation before the class- The recce trip • 3.3 Pace the content • Amount and sequence of information. • 3.4 Delivery method 76
  77. 77. 77
  78. 78. 78
  79. 79. 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 79
  80. 80. ...help undergraduates develop intellectual and cognitive skills. 80
  81. 81. 4. During the field trip Introduce yourself! 81
  82. 82. 4.1 Flexibility is the key. • Adapt, and coordinate with the other TAs. • Transport & Environment • Students not responding because tired 82
  83. 83. 4.1 Flexibility is the key. 83
  84. 84. Horseshoe crab rescue, Mandai Kechil, 13 Mar 2005 84
  85. 85. 4.2 Emphasise the objective - even to yourself! 85
  86. 86. diversity or form? 86
  87. 87. 4.3 Give way to exciting scenes • If a rare or exciting event does take place, don't fight it! 87
  88. 88. 88
  89. 89. 4.4 Keeping time • Enlist help. • Cut down content, and leave time for a few questions and examples. Better to say less. 89
  90. 90. 4.4 Keeping time Share resources if possible – Share uncommon finds – go down earlier to catch or collect and pool resources into stations. 90
  91. 91. 91
  92. 92. 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 92
  93. 93. 4.5 Always admit when you don't know. 93
  94. 94. 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 94
  95. 95. 95
  96. 96. 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. 96
  97. 97. 97
  98. 98. 5. After the field trip • Mailing lists – What you could not answer, the pool does – Clarification to other groups – students began posting answers! 98
  99. 99. 99
  100. 100. 6. SAFETY PREPARATIONS • 6.1 - Recce the site • 6.2 - Be prepared • 6.3 - Declaration • 6.4 - Observation 100
  101. 101. 101
  102. 102. 102
  103. 103. 103
  104. 104. 104
  105. 105. Why are you here? 105
  106. 106. Enjoy yourselves! 106
  107. 107. Addendum 107
  108. 108. Singapore, c.1990 108
  109. 109. Singapore, shore Exposed c.1990 Sheltered shore 109
  110. 110. Singapore, c.1990 Beach Mangrove 110
  111. 111. 111 111

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