Resource Database: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Title Group Work Skills and Environmental Case Studies
Originator Brian Ellis
Department Institute of Education, University of Warwick
Tel. +44 (0)1203 523853
Fax +44 (0)1203 523237

The objective of the course is to give students an opportunity to take a critical inter-disciplinary approach to the group's chosen case study (max. 10 students), to enhance their professional/applicable/transferable skills, and to practice research skills needed for their final year dissertation. It is a year-long, 30 CATS points course (i.e. a quarter of the year's work) and is designed not to require a regular weekly commitment from staff.

The skills the students are expected to practice in part relate to those listed in the university policy on applicable skills and include: for their chosen environmental problem or issue identify its interdisciplinary dimensions; formulate appropriate research questions for each of these dimensions; under tutorial guidance seek information from the relevant sources; evaluate this information and identify further areas of research; the use of specific search skills (standard bibliographic, IT-based, contacting appropriate organisations and individuals etc.); working in groups, allocating tasks and deadlines and managing groups in formal and informal settings; management and organisational skills at a personal level and in organising and motivating colleagues; presentation skills (including display, IT, video, photographs, charts, etc.) to share information within their group and present to other groups and staff at the end of the course; skills in evaluating their own and other people's work, and using and developing appropriate methods for doing this. The staff roles are: initial briefings, tutorials with individuals, attending 2 formal 'board' meetings per term to be given the group's progress report, attending other workshops by invitation, supporting students, as necessary, in contacting other sources of help. The course is assessed by an individual's work-in-progress report on their academic findings, an evaluation of their own professional development (together 70% of the marks), the group presentation (20%, partly assessed by students) and an individual oral exam.

Main gains in developing students as independent learners; main costs in stress levels in students when required to work independently.


Group work
Research skills

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Page created 22 December 1997
Database pages maintained by Phil Gravestock