Resource Database: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Title Environmental Assessment: Interdisciplinary Teamwork Project
Originator J.E. Dickinson
Department Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Hertfordshire
Tel. +44 (0)1707 284520
Fax +44 (0)1707 285258
E-mail j.e.dickinson@herts.ac.uk

This second year group project introduces students to some of the work practices they are likely to encounter in the future, while stimulating learning about environmental assessment techniques and the environmental issues associated with a motorway widening scheme.

The student class is split into teams (about 5 students). Each of these teams has to interpret a section of an environmental statement produced for a motorway widening scheme to a non-technical audience (30% of marks). Students within each team are assigned a specific role by the team, such as team leader, air quality, landscape or other specialist. Thus, the student's performance within the team can ultimately be assessed individually, if required, and progress monitored by fellow team members. Teams are interdisciplinary, choosing three topics from the following range: landscape and visual impacts; air quality; ecology; noise; and aquatic environment.

The major component of the assignment is student reflection on the project process that has been undertaken (70% of marks). To facilitate reflection, students are asked to complete a gantt chart at the start of the project and teamwork log sheets each time they meet both in and out of class time. Three hours of class time are allocated for consultant's team meetings. Students are asked to reflect on 2 aspects: project management issues such as time budgeting, effective meetings and team work; and the problems of working in interdisciplinary teams. Students gain first hand experience of the conflicts that are present in everyday situations and have to take responsibility for their actions, both as an individual and within their team.

Relevant Reference:

Keywords:

Environmental Assessment
Interdisciplinary
Project management
Student reflection
Group work


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