A Decade of Mastery Learning: evolution and evaluation
M. F. FOX, W. S. ROWSOME & T. P. WILKINSON, Carleton University, Ottawa
We discuss the evolution over the last ten years of our first-year, mastery course in geography and attempt to assess the impact of the course on student learning. The course has been modified in an effort to improve student learning, and the composition of types of students following it has changed, particularly as a result of the introduction of alternative first-year courses. Comparison of the subsequent achievement of students with the mastery course background with those with a traditional introductory lecture course reveals that the mastery students perform only marginally better. However, when the performance of both groups of students on identical tasks in the introductory course is assessed, the mastery students clearly outperform traditional course students.
Fending for Yourself: becoming a teacher of geography in higher education
GRAHAM GIBBS, JOHN R. GOLD & ALAN JENKINS, Oxford Polytechnic
Five geographers, entering teaching in British higher education for the first time, were interviewed about their experiences in the initial year of their new appointments. This paper explores their experiences of making the transition to their new jobs and the wide variety of problems encountered in coming to terms with teaching, research and administration. Conclusions are drawn concerning the development of effective teaching, integration of new members of staff, teaching load and development for the future.
Using Spreadsheets to Teach Statistics in Geography
M. P. LEE & J. B. SOPER, University of Leicester
Teaching methods of statistical calculation in geography may be enhanced by using a spreadsheet computer program. The student enters computational formulae in stages, thus gaining an understanding of the calculation process whilst having the actual arithmetic done by computer. The input data, intermediate calculations, and results are laid out in a matrix of rows and columns. They can be inspected and altered to demonstrate various statistical properties. The latest spreadsheets offer graphical and database facilities which add to their educational value.
Applied Rural Geography and Planning: a simple gaming technique
PAUL CLOKE, St Davids University College, Lampeter
The study of rural geography and planning has tended to be issue-oriented, and curriculum development in applied rural geography courses has often been unable to keep pace with contemporary research. In particular there is a need to find ways of teaching some of the material thrown up by recent research on the relationship between policy and implementation within rural planning. This paper suggests that gaming techniques are a most appropriate teaching medium in this context. A simple planning game which has been used with some success in undergraduate-level teaching is outlined.
How Much do you Know about Latin America?
R. P. MATTHEWS, Portsmouth Polytechnic
In the light of concerns expressed over regional geography and global knowledge, a questionnaire designed to test factual knowledge and awareness of Latin America was administered to several groups at Portsmouth Polytechnic, including incoming first-year students and academic staff. Analysis of the resulting data reveals some surprising results and suggests wider implications including a global educational role for geography.
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