Capturing%20the%20Student%20Field%20Experience:%20What%20are%20the%20options? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Local 1 day field trips. Observation. Interviews. Staff and student quotes. Western Ireland ... Henry Mayhew: London Labour and the London Poor, 1861, http: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Capturing%20the%20Student%20Field%20Experience:%20What%20are%20the%20options?

Capturing the Student Field Experience What are
the options?
  • Kirsty Magnier Matthew Sharples
  • Experiential Learning CETL
  • University of Plymouth

  • Introduction to methods
  • Observation
  • Interviews
  • Questionnaires
  • Residential field trips
  • Local 1 day field trips
  • Observation
  • Interviews
  • Staff and student quotes
  • Western Ireland
  • Researcher experience
  • Conclusions

Qualitative and quantitative research
  • We are hoping to combine several research
    methodologies in the study of the same
    phenomenon Triangulation.
  • Direct observation
  • Interviews
  • Questionnaires
  • By combining multiple observers, theories,
    methods, and empirical materials, we hope to
    overcome the weakness or intrinsic biases and
    problems that come from single method,
    single-observer, single-theory studies.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the methodologies
Methodology Advantages Disadvantages
Observation Direct information about the behaviour in natural, unstructured setting. Requires well-qualified, highly trained observers Observers interference
Informal Interviews In depth Affective and cognitive aspects of responses. Time is needed to get systematic information.
Questionnaires Allows time to consider response Unprompted by outside sourceresearcher Response rate. Only tells you the user's reaction as he/she perceives the situation.
Pilot study (i) Residential Field tripsStage 1
Geology St.Ives field trip October 23rd to 26th
  • Our initial focus was to see what sort of
    information was possible to gather from observing
    fieldwork, and to consider how this would support
    other aspects of the ELCETL research.
  • Trial out various research methods,
    questionnaire, observation and informal
  • Questions we would have in mind when
    undertaking the study will include
  • What is the nature of the interaction between the
    experts and the students?
  • How do the students interact with each other?
  • How is information communicated between students
    and staff?

  • Audio recordings digital recorder was used to
    capture the informal conversations which I had
    with the students on the three days.
  • Questionnaire The students were asked to fill in
    two questionnaires which had one open question
    about their expectations for the week.

Fun, proper learning experience, necessary field
experience, learn to observe samples at its
original condition and learn its history of
forming. To be able to socialise and make friends
from people in the same course, enjoy the scenery
of Britain.
To learn team work skills, be able to take in
other peoples ideas and come up with group ideas.
To be introduced into new field techniques in
order to identify geological features and to
re-inforce map work.
(ii)1 day field trips
  • Two 1 day pilot studies
  • Cholwell catchment (GEOG).
  • Show and tell (am) .
  • Staff project (pm).
  • Wheal Exmouth and Frank Mills (ENV SCI).
  • Show and tell (am).
  • Student/staff led projects (pm).

Observation techniques
Unstructured observation (Hamersley and
Atkinson,1995 Mayhew,1861)
Structured observation (FIAC) (Flanders,1970)
Semi structured observation. (Mayhew,1861,
Brown, 2007)
Date Date Trip Researcher Lecturer/Staff Sheet number Sheet number
Time Weather/ location Activity (What they are meant to be doing) Experience (what the students are actually doing) Learning (what and why are they learning) Questions asked by students Comments

Male student (February 2007, Dartmoor)
Interviewer So, Im just wondering, how valuable
do you find experiences like this?
Student 1 erm not too much really.
I Youre not really into field work?
S1 No Id rather be in a classroom where its
I OK fair enough. So what kinds of things dont
you like about fieldwork?
S1 Just the fact that Ive got to get and do
stuff really.
I OK, right do you prefer just to be
S1 yeah sat in a classroom.
I to listen really?
S1 Yeah I suppose it makes a change
Male member of staff (same field trip)
Interviewer Do you think there are any problems
with field work? I mean some of the students just
dont enjoy it. You might think perhaps theyve
chose the wrong thing to study if they dont
enjoy that side of things but the students who
dont enjoy field work, what do you think they
get out of it?
Lecturer (spoken slowly) I dont think Ive come
across any students who dont enjoy field work.
Ive had one or to who oh heavens were going to
get our feet wet you know its a rivers course.
But apart from that Ive havent personally come
across any who have said grumpily oh I dont
like being here
Western Ireland research methods
  • Pre and post trip questionnaires. Based on Boyle
    et al (2007).
  • Field interviews and observations (day by day).
  • 6 volunteers for interviews each evening.
  • 6 volunteers per day canvassed in the field for
    evening interviews (video and picture prompts
    used for stimulated recall).
  • Incentives.
  • 3 types of field day format over the trip
  • Cooks tour,
  • staff led,
  • student led.
  • Require different research approaches.

Western Ireland female student evening interview
Interviewer One thing about today is that its
not assessed. So you were learning today, perhaps
taking notes but youre not being assessed on it.
Student I think the notebooks are arent they?
  • I erm, maybe?

S I hope I wasnt taking notes for no reason!
I Ok so you wouldnt take notes if you werent
being assessed.
S Not really. Id still pay attention cos I like
learning stuff about new places I took extensive
notes cos I thought were being assessed.
Western Ireland male student evening interview
I And what was helping you learn there? What
Student Well he just got us to sketch it. Which
is, well no need to ask for us, which weve done
many a time in field work, so we know whats
expected, we know to pick out the key components.

Researcher experience
  • General issues Weather
  • Social Experience Sharing living and learning
  • Observation and interviews as valuable research
  • Off the record opinions.

What's next?
  • Analysis of data
  • Transcription and coding of interviews (nVivo,
  • Coding of Questionnaires (Excel).
  • Dissemination of our results and analysis to
    Department of Geography staff members and
  • Same time next year?

  • Boyle, A., Maguire, S., Martin, S., Milsom, C.,
    Nash, R., Rawlinson, S., Turner, A., Wurthmann,
    S.,Concie, S. Fieldwork is Good the Student
    Perception and the Affective Domain. Journal of
    geography in higher education.1-19.
  • Brown,N. 2007. Henry Mayhew London Labour and
    the London Poor, 1861, http//
    cs/content/25 (Accessed 16/04/2007)
  • Flanders NA (1970) Analyzing teaching behaviour.
    Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. Reading, Mass.
  • Hammersley Atkinson (1995) Ethnography,
    Principle in practice. Routledge.
  • Kirakowski, J. (2000). Questionnaires in
    Usability Engineering A list of frequently asked
    questions online. Available http//
    frg/resources/qfaq1.html (accessed April 11 2007)
  • Mahoney, C(1997) Common qualitative methods in
    Frechtling et al. (Eds) User-friendly handbook
    for mixed method evaluations, Division of
    Research, evaluation and communication,.
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