Journal of Geography in Higher Education

Volume 21 Number 1 1997


Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Multimedia Resources for Geography and Earth Science Education

J. B. KRYGIER, State University of New York at Buffalo, USA
CATHERINE REEVES, National Geographic Interactive, USA
DAVID DiBIASE, Pennsylvania State University, USA
JASON CUPP, Pennsylvania State University, USA

ABSTRACT
Geography and earth science educators are simultaneously faced with increasing scrutiny of teaching, new educational standards and a plethora of new teaching methods such as computer multimedia. While there have been calls for the use of multimedia in geography and earth science education, few explicit guidelines detail how to actually begin designing, implementing and evaluating educational multimedia in the classroom. This paper describes an approach to educational multimedia design focused on a coherent set of multimedia design standards informed by an array of evaluation functions. Such design and evaluation standards should be shaped by broader educational and content (geography and earth science) goals. Our approach to design and evaluation serves as a fundamental step in examining the possibilities of multimedia in the geography and earth science classroom.

KEYWORDS
Geographic education, educational multimedia, multimedia design, multimedia evaluation.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Evaluating the Effectiveness of Multimedia Computer Modules as Enrichment Exercises for Introductory Human Geography

JAMES D. PROCTOR & ANTHONY E. RICHARDSON, University of California, USA

ABSTRACT
Quantitative proof that multimedia enrichment activities are a positive benefit to lower-division undergraduate geography is an alluring though elusive goal. The results are presented of a careful experimental evaluation of two multimedia computer modules used as enrichment devices for an introductory human geography course at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The objectives were to determine their overall effectiveness, as well as the kinds of students and kinds of geographical knowledge and skills they best served. The rather disappointing results in respect of all three of these areas tend to corroborate one published allegation that quantitative evaluation of multimedia effectiveness is itself ineffective, due primarily to the inherent complexity of learning. The conclusion of this article, and of the study, is that an array of quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods will better serve the important objective of improving multimedia use at the university level.

KEYWORDS
Multimedia, university education, evaluation, human geography.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Lecture Reviews by Students in Groups

REWI M. NEWNHAM, University of Plymouth, UK

ABSTRACT
The benefits of conventionally reviewing or recapping lectures can be enhanced by allowing time in class for students to review lectures in small groups. Building this procedure into a lecture programme helps promote discussion, interaction and group activity, and provides opportunities for in-course monitoring of both lecturer and student performance. Other benefits include a student-authored course review document. Evaluation of this practice in third-year geography classes indicates that a majority of students preferred this style of review to the conventional lecturer's recap. A student-centred approach to the conventional lecture-review process contributes to a more flexible lecture format and should be considered by those lecturers who are seeking to find an appropriate balance between traditional and progressive teaching styles.

KEYWORDS
Lecture reviews, groupwork, active learning, evaluation.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


The Continuing Mismatch between Students' Undergraduate Experiences and the Teaching Demands of the Geography Classroom: experience of pre-service secondary geography teachers

ELIZABETH RYNNE & DAVID LAMBERT, University of London Institute of Education, UK

ABSTRACT
Reforms to the structure of the education system of England and Wales in recent years, notably the introduction of a National Curriculum following the Education Reform Act of 1988, have tended to reinforce the subject-based arrangements of the school curriculum. Moves to establish initial teacher training in a competence-based model have also emphasised the importance of good 'subject knowledge' as a re4uirement of effective teachers. Increasingly influential research in school improvement and effectiveness has also pointed to the significance of sound academic knowledge and goals as a condition for school, and departmental, effectiveness and improvement. It follows, therefore, that the subject knowledge of beginning teachers is of special interest to those involved in the initial training of teachers. This is particularly the case in a system such as exists in the UK where the current mode of training of secondary teachers is via the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), a system which assumes competence in 'subject knowledge' (to a greater or lesser extent). This paper reports a small-scale study designed to investigate the nature of this concern from a sample of geography PGCE students (1994-5) at the University of London Institute of Education (ULIE). In addition to elucidating the nature of subject knowledge which PGCE recruits bring to their training, it seeks to identify some of the implications of perceived subject knowledge 'gaps' or, in the authors' terms, defects in students' own 'feelings of competence'.

Keywords
Teacher education, subject knowledge, subject application, feelings of competence.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Perceptual Geography through Urban Trails

JANE DOVE, University of Exeter, UK

ABSTRACT
Perception of our environment is subjective. Reality is influenced by personal experience, bias, interests, knowledge, cultural background, age and disability. This concept is exemplified through the planning, implementation and evaluation of an assignment whereby students design urban trails for users with special needs such as those with partial sight, or those with a particular interest. These assignments are designed to be student-centred, related to the three major domains of learning and formally assessed. Assessment is by an evaluation of the information utilised by the user on the trail, together with a class presentation. Student evaluation is by questionnaire analysis and group discussion.

KEYWORDS
Fieldwork, projects, perception, environment, trail, local.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Student Empowerment through Group Work: a case study

SUE BURKILL, College of St Mark and St John, Plymouth, UK

ABSTRACT
In this paper the use of group work as one approach to student empowerment is discussed. An attempt is made to differentiate the characteristics of courses which involve token empowerment from those which involve deeper empowerment. An example of a project undertaken by second-year undergraduates is described, and student responses, as evidence of their awareness of learning processes, are explored.

KEYWORDS
Empowerment, group work.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


Peer Assessment and Group Work as Vehicles for Student Empowerment: a module evaluation

LINDA STANIER, University of Derby, UK

ABSTRACT
This article reflects upon the introduction of two empowering styles of teaching in a newly developed interdisciplinary module for students of geography and environmental sciences. Student reactions and evaluations are presented and contextualised. Attitudes to group work changed over the period of the module indicating some resolution of initial concerns and problems within the group; however, resistances were in part retained. Peer assessment, on the other hand, after detailed discussion of criteria and a justification for the method, was embraced more readily by students. The nature of student empowerment associated with the use of these methods is difficult to monitor and, indeed, the benefits may be delayed

KEYWORDS
Peer assessment, interdisciplinary, group work, student empowerment.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


USING OPTICAL MARK READERS FOR STUDENT ASSESSMENT AND COURSE EVALUATION

Brian Chalkley, University of Plymouth, UK

ABSTRACT
One of the main pressures on academic staff is the burden of student assessment and marking. The use of optical mark readers (OMRs) in conjunction with objective tests can bring very substantial time savings and also ensure that students are assessed across the whole curriculum. This paper outlines the benefits and limitations of automated assessment and offers practical advice for individuals and departments considering a move in this direction. The paper also highlights the savings to be made by using an OMR in student-based course evaluations.

KEYWORDS
Optical mark reader, automated assessment, multiple-choice tests.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


SETTING OBJECTIVE TESTS

Allan Jones, University of Plymouth, UK

ABSTRACT
The rationale for the increased popularity of objective testing in the UK is outlined, and issues in its acceptance by academics are considered. An examination is made of time costs and benefits based on a case study of test production and implementation. Several question styles are discussed and illustrated followed by a discussion of test administration, marking schemes and the problem of guesswork.

KEYWORDS
Objective tests, assessment, optical mark reader, guessing correction.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


INTRODUCING OBJECTIVE TESTS AND OMR-BASED STUDENT ASSESSMENT: A CASE STUDY

Ruth Weaver & Brian Chalkley, University of Plymouth, UK

ABSTRACT
This paper describes the process by which objective-question tests, using an OMR, were introduced into a number of first-year geography modules at the University of Plymouth. It discusses the rationale for such a move and some of the issues which have arisen. The paper goes on to present the results of various statistical tests, including a comparison of student performance in the objective question exams and in the traditional examination essays. A key aim was to determine whether individual students perform consistently across the two forms of assessment.

KEYWORDS
Optical mark reader, objective testing, automated assessment.

* 1997 Index

*Journal of Geography in Higher Education Cumulative Index


GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS ASSESS THEIR LEARNING USING COMPUTER MARKED TESTS

Jim Hogg, University of Leeds, UK

ABSTRACT
A pilot study was carried out to assess the potential of computer-marked tests for allowing students in geography to monitor their learning during course modules. Using multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and computer-marked cards, students were given short tests in lectures and practical classes. Students marked their answers in boxes on specially printed cards using soft lead pencils. The cards were read into a computer, together with a master card containing correct answers, to produce a full analysis of results in a spreadsheet. Students were given feedback and an assessment of their strengths and shortcomings. They liked the method, appreciated feedback and welcomed their ranked assessment in the course module. This method can be applied in large classes of students, is labour saving and economical in the use of resources and offers mutual benefits for students and lecturers.

KEYWORDS
Multiple-choice questions, computer-marked cards, formative assessment, large classes, student assessment and monitoring of learning.

* 1997 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

GDN Home

Page created 22 April 1997
GDN pages maintained by Phil Gravestock