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My Course > LEARNING AND TEACHING INNOVATION CENTRE > Guidance, Resources and Toolkits > Developing Research Skills > Fieldwork: engaging students with real-world data

Fieldwork: engaging students with real-world data

Page last updated by CN=Admin3/O=LIS on 18/03/2011


Students collect glaciological field data (air temperature, meltwater river stage, meltwater electrical conductivity, suspended sediment load) during a fieldtrip to Switzerland and conduct experiments in the field to gauge discharge of glacial rivers. They then use data collected in a data analysis computer practical exercise back at the University to assess the nature of links between climate variables, glacier hydrological systems and glacier meltwater discharge fluctuations and submit an assessed report based on analysis of these data. The aims of the exercise are to teach: general fieldwork skills, specific field data collection skills, field instrument operation and advanced data analysis techniques.

The case study addresses:how the assessment supports student learning; particular benefits of the assessment; provision of feedback on student submissions and encouraging student engagement with the feedback.

The case study has been reviewed by Mark Russell (Deputy Director of the Blended Learning Unit) and Helen Barefoot (Deputy Head of the Learning & teaching Institute) with comments added where the assessment fits within principles of good practice, namely; Chickering and Gamson’s “Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education” (1987), Gibbs and Simpson’s “Conditions under which assessment supports students learning" (2004) and David Nicol’s 10 principles of “Good Feedback Practice”, (2007).

Authors’ contact details

Philip Porter - p.r.porter@herts.ac.uk

Chickering, A. W. & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. American Association for Higher Education Bulletin, 39(7), 3–7.

Gibbs, G. & Simpson, C. (2004) Conditions under which assessment supports students learning. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. 1, 3-31.

Nicol, D, J. (2007) Assessment design for learner responsibility, http://www.reap.ac.uk