Providing Learning Support for Students with Mental Health Difficulties Undertaking Fieldwork and Related Activities

Preparation and Communication

Add to your handouts: an opportunity to make learning a pleasure!

Information communicated on handouts can not only enhance knowledge, understanding and project management, but also create a confident learning community in the field and reduce anxiety levels.

If the information given is too brief, students may not fully understand the task that they are expected to complete, and may have other concerns about the context in which they will be working.

For example:

"At the tor make a field sketch and annotate it fully"

leaves many predictable questions unanswered. Fuller information about the nature of the task, the timescale and the physical context will enhance the experience for all students and may allay any anxieties.

For example:

"We will leave the coach at the main road and may be away from it for about 3 hours. You should be prepared for rain and some rough walking terrain. The climb up to the tor takes about 1 hour at a steady pace, and will not be a problem for those of moderate fitness. There will be time for those who wish to go more slowly, and an alternative viewpoint at a lower level for those who prefer it. You will not be standing above or below steep or vertical slopes at any time."
"At the tor you will be working individually on your own annotated field sketch for about 30 mins, with questions and prompts from the tutor. (Provide fieldsketch title.) There will then be a short group discussion (see background reading to prepare you for this). The walk down will take approximately 45 mins."
"Our next stop, for lunch and bathroom facilities, will be a 10 min drive."
"Please ask your tutor (room/phone/email numbers) if you have any concerns about this part of the fieldtrip."

Page updated 14 December 2001

GDN pages maintained by Phil Gravestock