The Evaluation of an Experiment in Physical Geography Teaching
MARTIN J. HAIGH, Oxford Polytechnic
An attempt is made to evaluate the impact of an educational experiment by means of the Lancaster 'Approaches to Studying' and 'Course Perceptions' questionnaires. The experiment involved adopting General Systems Theory as a vehicle for the introduction of physical geography. It was hoped that this would help students think about the environment in more holistic terms. By means of questionnaire analysis, it was discovered that restructuring conventional physical geography teaching around General Systems Theory encouraged committed, achievement oriented students to study more deeply and to seek harder for meaning in what they studied. However, the stress created by the necessity of coming to grips with an unfamiliar approach severely disadvantaged students with a non-academic orientation and those with inefficient studying habits.
Attitudes towards Geographers in the Graduate Labour Market
TIM UNWIN, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London
This paper presents the summary findings of a survey of employers' attitudes towards geography graduates from universities in Britain. Its main conclusions are that geography departments should encourage the broader 'vocational' education and involvement of their undergraduates and urgently need to introduce a wider range of teaching methods. It is suggested that this is unlikely to happen at a time of increasing cuts in government spending on higher education.
Resource-based Learning: shifting the load
ALLAN R. JONES, Plymouth Polytechnic
The use of resource-based learning provides a means of redistributing the work of staff and students. The introduction of a course for final-year students is examined with a review of its first year in operation to provide pointers for future course development.
Computers and the Field Class
VINCE GARDINER & DAVID J. UNWIN, University of Leicester
Using computers in field classes makes it possible to do educationally desirable things which are very difficult or impossible without their assistance. They allow students to have a much greater sense of involvement in the projects carried out, and a greater sense of achievement results. Such advantages are illustrated by two exercises in which field class computing was an essential component. The most significant problem likely to be encountered is the date-entry 'bottleneck'. Suggestions are made concerning this and other potential problems of a practical nature.
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