Journal of Geography in Higher Education

Volume 19 Number 2 1995


Thinking Local: service-learning, education for citizenship and geography

JOHN MOHAN Queen Mary and Westfield College, UK

ABSTRACT
This article considers the arguments being advanced in the USA for an expansion of academic programmes incorporating service-learning, in which students undertake, as part of their studies, community service, and engage in academic activities designed to provide a context for reflection on their experience in doing so. Three arguments are usually advanced for this: the merits of experiential education, the value of service-learning in education for citizenship, and its significance in promoting a sense of 'community'. Some examples are given and the issues raised by these programmes are explored briefly. It is suggested that geography could profit from incorporating elements of service-learning in order to enhance its treatment of moral and political issues.

KEYWORDS
Service-learning, citizenship, experiential learning, social inequalities

* 1995 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Student-Community Partnerships: advocating Community Enterprise projects in geography

SUSAN BUCKINGHAM-HATFIELD Brunel University College, UK

ABSTRACT
The changing context of higher education has prompted a fundamental rethink of the way in which students learn effectively. Community enterprise projects offer an opportunity for students to develop academic, personal and transferable skills whilst at the same time enabling poorly resourced, not-for-profit groups to achieve some of their goals. This partnership creates greater mutual understanding which is likely to have positive immediate and longer term benefits. Examples of community enterprise projects undertaken by geography undergraduates are reviewed to suggest ways of best incorporating community enterprise in geography departments. Whilst not all projects are unproblematic, the lessons which can be learned are instructive in creating a successful programme to strengthen the teaching and learning experience.

KEYWORDS
Community enterprise, transferable skills, relevance, citizenship, assessment

* 1995 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Topic Synthesis: a vehicle for improving oral communication skills, comprehension and retention in higher education

JOANN MOSSA University of Florida, USA

ABSTRACT
Topic synthesis is an approach where students, rather than instructors, summarise the key points of the previous lecture at the beginning of the next class period. Benefits include opportunities for students to make oral presentations, new perspectives for the instructor from which to evaluate whether the key points were evident, and reinforcement of key concepts for the other students in the class. Initially, student reactions regarding topic synthesis were predominantly neutral and there were also several unfavourable reactions. However, by the end of the semester most reactions were favourable because students recognised that topic synthesis supported improvements in comprehension and retention of subject-matter.

KEYWORDS
Topic synthesis, oral skills, lecture summaries

* 1995 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Communicating Geographies: development and application of a communication instruction manual in the geography discipline of an Australian university

IAIN HAY Flinders University of South Australia

ABSTRACT
This paper reports on the development. application and review of a written teaching and assessment manual intended to promote the development of communication skills amongst geography students at The Flinders University of South Australia. The manual provides advice to students on presenting talks, writing essays and research reports, preparing posters, and communicating graphically. Also included in the manual are carefully developed assessment schedules associated with these forms of communication. These schedules had been intended to form the basis of a system of criterion-referenced assessment, but practical and pedagogic problems prevented this. Nevertheless, the package - in the form of a communication instruction manual - has been implemented across the discipline at Flinders University during 1994. Preliminary reviews suggest that the manual is popular and useful, especially amongst particular student groups. There is also scope for further application and extension of the document.

KEYWORDS
Criterion-referenced assessment, communication, skills, geography

* 1995 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL: A 'SHORT AND THIN' MODEL FOR WORK EXPERIENCE

Ifan D. H. Shepherd, Middlesex University, UK.

ABSTRACT
A 'short and thin' model for work experience has been devised at Middlesex University. The reasons for adopting this approach are discussed, and its benefits and drawbacks are identified. The challenge of designing a work experience for a technological area such as CIS that also meets the academic requirements of a non-vocational degree programme is also discussed.

KEYWORDS
Work experience, 'short-and-thin' model, geography, GIS, academic goals

* 1995 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


THE THICK SANDWICH: STILL ON THE MENU

Bob Jones, Coventry University, Mick Healey, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education & Hugh Matthews, Nene College, Northampton, UK

ABSTRACT
The conception, inception, progress and future of a unique year-long sandwich element in a geography degree course at Coventry University is reviewed against the backdrop of appropriate statistical information. The placement, which originated as a result of academic politics and took its format from an existing scheme, has been in operation for 20 years. Early on, paid placements in financial, professional and business services were of considerable importance. Later years have seen the growth of a wider range of employment related to geographical issues, and increased use of statutory grant-aid. Graduates with professional training have had more success than those without it in obtaining employment. Recent innovations include a Certificate of Professional Training, linked to which is a learning contract and a profile-based assessment.

KEYWORDS
Coventry, sandwich year, employment, certificate

* 1995 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


EVALUATING AND ASSESSING STUDENT ORAL PRESENTATIONS: A LIMITED BUT EFFECTIVE ROLE FOR EMPLOYERS IN THE GEOGRAPHY CURRICULUM

Andrew Church & Paul Bull, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK

ABSTRACT
Employers were involved in assessing students' presentations, giving feedback and in the development of staff skills for providing feedback. The curriculum context to the oral presentations is described and the problems and benefits of employer involvement are considered. It is argued that it is possible to develop an effective small-scale approach to employer involvement as an alternative to major schemes.

KEYWORDS
Oral presentations, feedback, assessment, employer involvement

* 1995 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


STUDENT PROJECTS IN COLLABORATION WITH A FAMILY HEALTH SERVICES AUTHORITY

Linda Stanier, University of Derby, UK

ABSTRACT
An initiative involving the development of student group project work in collaboration with a public administration body, a Family Health Services Authority, is evaluated in the light of experience gained over a five-year implementation period. The benefits of financial support, access to otherwise restricted databases and student empowerment are weighed against the limitations of being dependent on a single client and, in this case, the limited impact on the department's undergraduate curriculum.

KEYWORDS
Group project, FHSA, student empowerment

* 1995 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


ENTERPRISE DISSERTATIONS REVISITED

Gordon Clark, Lancaster University, UK

ABSTRACT
This paper critically re-evaluates the 'enterprise dissertation' at Lancaster in the light of subsequent developments in teaching in the Department of Geography. It explains why client-based experience was not provided for all our students using this initiative.

KEYWORDS
EHE, clients, dissertations, skills training

* 1995 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


WORK EXPERIENCE: AN ALTERNATIVE OR A COMPANION TO THE DISSERTATION? A CASE STUDY

lan Couch, University of Huddersfield, UK

ABSTRACT
A geography degree course at the University of Huddersfield, which has always had an applied, problem-solving emphasis, has evolved to include a substantial student work-experience element. Designed to achieve the benefits of applying skills within the management structures and context of a firm or organisation, it was offered as a deliberate alternative to the dissertation. A changing educational environment has led to both the work experience and the dissertation being compulsory. An evaluation of their merits helps to identify the issues involved in requiring students to complete both elements.

KEYWORDS
Work experience, placement, dissertation

* 1995 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


WORK-BASED LEARNING FOR ACADEMIC CREDIT

Stephen Jackson, Liverpool John Moores University, UK

ABSTRACT
Geography students at Liverpool John Moores University may include a module in work-based learning, for which they are given academic credit, as part of the core programme in their final year. The aims, learning outcomes and assessment strategy for this module are reviewed, together with the arrangements for managing the placement. The benefits of the experience to students, staff and employers are also discussed.

KEYWORDS
Work-based learning, learning outcomes, geography, experiential learning, applied learning, assessment

* 1995 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


GRADUATES AS A SOURCE OF EMPLOYER CONTACTS FOR LINK DAYS AND A PARTNERSHIP SCHEME

Tessa Cubitt, University of Portsmouth, UK

ABSTRACT
A useful bridge between the geography curriculum and the worlds of industry, commerce and public authorities can be a department's own graduates. By means of an alumni survey, the Portsmouth geography department has set up a database which has been used, among other things, as a source of contacts for link days and the partnership scheme. Link days have been established to enable undergraduates to meet graduates with a range of experiences, who can offer information about the world of work. The partnership .scheme involves the working together of the three main participants in Higher Education - staff, students and employers - initially through meetings to discuss issues such as innovation in teaching/learning and the acquisition of transferable skills. Both link days and the partnership scheme have improved communications between higher education and employers, and much of this success can be attributed to the part played by graduates.

KEYWORDS
Link days, partnership scheme, graduates

* 1995 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


A GRADUATES AND EMPLOYERS DATABASE SYSTEM AS A STRATEGIC RESOURCE FOR GEOGRAPHY DEPARTMENTS

James Hogg, University of Leeds UK

ABSTRACT
With greater competition in the mass higher education market in the UK each institution will have to stimulate and promote greater interaction between itself and the world outside if it is to compete successfully. Presently such interaction occurs for a variety of reasons at many different levels and over different time scales. This paper proposes an approach to fostering greater interaction at departmental level through a network of former graduates in geography and their employers. It describes the concept of a graduates and employers database system (GEDS) and outlines how such a system should become a key resource for strategic management and planning in geography departments.

KEYWORDS
Geography graduates, employment, graduates and employers database

* 1995 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


GEOGRAPHY STAFF PLACEMENTS: NICE WORK?

Brian Chalkley, University of Plymouth, UK

ABSTRACT
Although more geography degrees are beginning to include some form of student work placement, less attention has been given to the idea of work placements for staff: This paper considers the possible benefits of this idea and reviews a small pilot scheme and the lessons learned from it.

KEYWORDS
Work placement, staff development

* 1995 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


UNDERGRADUATE GEOGRAPHY INTERNSHIPS IN THE UNITED STATES: NATIONAL SURVEY AND CASE STUDY

Michael D. Sublett & Paul F. Mattingly, Illinois State University, USA

ABSTRACT
This paper presents the results of a survey of internships offered in undergraduate geography programmes in the United States and discusses a required internship for undergraduate geography majors at Illinois State University. Our survey reveals internships to be widespread in the United States, and the Illinois State internship programme is one of the few in the country that is a requirement for the major. The programme appears to be quite successful.

KEYWORDS
Internship, capstone experience, undergraduates, United States

* 1995 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


The Geography Discipline Network would also like to thank Taylor & Francis Ltd for permission to reproduce abstracts from the Journal of Geography in Higher Education

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