Issues in Providing Learning Support for Disabled Students Undertaking Fieldwork and Related Activities

Examples of Good Practice in Higher Education Institutions Offering Field Classes

Post field trip follow-up and assessment

Planning for the completion of assessment is best considered at the outset of the class, when the learning outcomes are discussed with the student. It should be seen as an integral part of the course. Careful consideration should be given to any requirement for assessment to be completed in the field, as this may pose particular problems for students who tire easily, or for whom sustained engagement is challenging. The medium of assessment is also worthy of consideration; the completion of a field notebook, for example, may prove impossible for a blind student working without personal assistance, but a taped record with a subsequent conversion to a written report may fulfil the same objectives of promoting immediacy and accuracy in recording.

After the course has finished, it is important that the experience of the student and the staff involved is captured and recorded. In any one department, the number of disabled students is likely to be relatively limited, and staff changes (and student graduation) may mean that valuable experience is lost unless measures are taken to ensure otherwise. Placing an evaluation of the event itself into departmental files, at a minimum, and on the Geography Discipline Network Resource Database, will ensure that the experience can be drawn on by other colleagues and institutions too. Considerations of particular strategies, transport and equipment adaptions, and the use of support services will be invaluable for later reference. Commentary on what was successful, and what worked in a less satisfactory manner, should be recorded both from the perspective of the student (albeit anonymously), and the department.

Page updated 14 December 2001

GDN pages maintained by Phil Gravestock